ANA unveils special livery for its new A380 fleet

Courtesy: Airbus.

On March 6, All Nippon Airways (ANA) revealed a special livery for the A380. The livery was selected from over 2,000 submissions received in an open competition organised by the carrier. The winning design will be painted on the airline’s first new A380, which will be delivered early in 2019. ANA will operate the aircraft on its most popular leisure route, from Tokyo to Honolulu.

The winning entry is a colorful design featuring the Hawaiian green sea turtle – a symbol of good luck and prosperity in Hawaii. 

Flights between Japan and Hawaii represent a highly competitive market. Around 1.5 million Japanese travel to Hawaii annually, with airlines enjoying consistently high load factors. ANA will seek to increase significantly its share of this lucrative market with the introduction of the popular A380.

ANA parent company ANA Holdings placed its order for three A380s in January 2016 and will become the first Japanese airline to operate the type, transporting more passengers, more efficiently and in greater comfort – all at lower cost. 

ANA is planning a number of future activities in Hawaii to protect the green sea turtle, which is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as an endangered species.

The green sea turtle is known as the “Honu” in Hawaii and ANA will adopt the name “Flying Honu” for its A380 fleet.

Designed for the challenges of the 21st century aviation industry, the A380’s unique size allows airlines to maximize their revenue potential while offering unrivalled levels of passenger comfort.

Source: Airbus.

Airbus innovation at work: 25 years of aircraft family commonality

Courtesy: Airbus.

Courtesy: Airbus.

The commonality feature of Airbus’ fly-by-wire jetliner families is marking 25 years of operations, providing benefits that range from enhanced fleet deployment, improved efficiency and better scheduling for airlines to greater productivity, proficiency and job satisfaction for pilots.

Airbus’ A320 was the first fly-by-wire airliner to enter commercial service, providing a cornerstone in the company’s forward-looking approach that brought cockpits and flight controls into the modern era. The commonality results from Airbus’ continuous application of similarities in cockpit layout and functionality – along with shared aircraft handling characteristics and similarity in systems – across its product line of fly-by-wire aircraft.

Today, Airbus commonality covers everything from the single-aisle A320 Family (composed of the A318, A319, A320 and A321) to the widebody A330, A340, A350 XWB and the double-deck A380.

Single Fleet Flying: a foundation of Airbus commonality 

Within the twin-engine A320 Family, flight crew members can perform Single Fleet Flying – easily shifting among the various aircraft models, thereby flying multiple versions with the same type rating.

Advantages of Single Fleet Flying include the optimum use of pilot resources by airlines, reduced training requirements for flight crews as well as related lower costs for airlines, and increased flight opportunities for pilots.

These benefits extend to the latest A320neo (new engine option) variants as well. The world’s airworthiness authorities have concluded that even with the installation of NEO’s new powerplants, the aircraft can be considered variants of the A320ceo (current engine option) family members – allowing all versions to be operated by pilots with the same A320 type rating.

Single Fleet Flying also applies within other Airbus product line segments, such as the A330, covering its A330-200 and A330-300 passenger models, the A330-200F freighter…and in the future, the A330neo (new engine option) version.

And while the long-range A330 and next-generation A350 XWB have different type certificates, their handling characteristics are so similar that they have been granted a Common Type Rating from the airworthiness authorities. To transition from an A330 to the A350 XWB, pilots use laptop-based systems and ground-based trainers, eliminating the mandatory need for expensive full-flight simulators and a full type rating check ride. The pilots can then be assigned to both the A330 and A350 under terms of a single licence endorsement – another example of Single Fleet Flying that results directly from Airbus commonality.

Cross Crew Qualification, and the advantages of Mixed Fleet Flying 

Commonality also streamlines the requirements in transitioning from one Airbus jetliner product type to another. For instance, an A320-rated pilot who is going to qualify on the very large, four-engine A380 is given shortened ground training courses and only five simulator sessions; whereas pilots without previous Airbus fly-by-wire experience would require more extensive training – both in ground school and with flight simulators.

This commonality-related aspect within the Airbus product line is called Cross Crew Qualification, and it enhances the opportunities for a pool of multi-qualified pilots to operate, for example, both single-aisle and widebody Airbus airliners in what is referred to as Mixed Fleet Flying.

Significant cost savings and more flexibility for airlines 

Commonality enables airlines to create a truly integrated fleet management structure, offering flexibility in the scheduling rosters for their crews and improving the utilisation of their aircraft – such as seamlessly bringing in a longer-fuselage A321 on a route where passenger volume has grown beyond the capacity of an A320.

Gerrit Van Dijk, who works in Technical Marketing – Aircraft Operations for Airbus Customer Affairs, noted that it is not uncommon for a pilot to experience six to eight changes in the aircraft types flown during a career, involving typical retraining costs of $30,000 for each changeover. “Add some 1.5 months of pilot downtime for each change, and it becomes obvious that the combined costs to airlines is several billion dollars every year,” he said. “However, those with Airbus fleets can reduce pilot retraining costs by two-thirds on average.”

According to Van Dijk, the advantages of commonality not only apply to large main-line carriers with significant aircraft fleets; smaller airlines in particular can benefit from powerful economies of scale that previously were the privilege of big operators. Depending on the mix of fleet and the nature of an airline’s flight operations, annual revenue flying time per pilot may increase by 5-15 percent with Single Fleet Flying and Mixed Fleet Flying, he added.

A better work environment and more proficiency for pilots 

Pilots appreciate Airbus commonality for the opportunities of a more varied work environment, including the ability to fly on a larger part of an airline’s route network, while enjoying better mobility within their airline and across the job market, Van Dijk explained.

He cited the example of pilots who alternate long-haul and short-range trips by applying Single Fleet Flying and Mixed Fleet Flying. These flight crew personnel have the possibility to perform more takeoffs and landings for proficiency, while enabling a better work and life balance compared with being assigned only long-haul flying.

Source: Airbus.

Lufthansa Airbus A380 first time visit to Sofia

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Lufthansa is planning the very first visit of an Airbus A380 to Sofia for Sunday, on 16 October 2016. The largest passenger aircraft of the world will depart in Frankfurt as a special flight and is scheduled to touch down in Sofia around noon time. For this premiere a delegation of politicians, customers and media will get the chance to visit this two-deck aircraft, which is supposed to stay for a few hours in the Bulgarian capital. The aircraft will also be visible from various spots around Sofia and the airport during its landing approach. The whole event will take place in cooperation of Lufthansa Technik and Sofia Airport.

“With today’s flying visit of our flagship aircraft we want to promote our long-haul flights with the A380 to our customers in Bulgaria”, says Alexander Tolweth, Country Manager Bulgaria Lufthansa Group. “Bulgaria and Lufthansa share a strong history over many years. The event is the perfect opportunity to introduce our A380 to customers and the general public in this country. Bulgarians who plan to travel via our hub in Frankfurt to the US cities Los Angeles, San Francisco or Miami as well as to the Asian metropolises Delhi, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore can enjoy flying on board our A380 in one of our four modern travel classes. Moreover, this aircraft is – in relation to its size – approximately 30 percent quieter than the current generation of wide-body aircraft.”

Carrying up to 509 passengers, the upper deck provides eight seats in First Class and 78 seats in Business Class which both can be used as full flat beds. The main deck gives space for 371 seats ones in the new Premium Economy Class, of a small number is also located on the upper floor. The new Premium Economy Class is also located at the main deck and offers 52 passengers not only 50 per cent more leg room, compared to the Economy Class, but also one free additional piece of luggage.

It is planned that the only Bulgarian A380 Lufthansa pilot, Senior First Officer Mario Bakalov will be part of the cockpit crew flying this aircraft to Sofia on that day.

Lufthansa and Sofia Airport will inform the public with more details on the A380 visit in due time.

Source: Deutsche Lufthansa.

New orders and a “NEO” focus on Day 1 of the Farnborough Airshow

Courtesy: Airbus.

Courtesy: Airbus.

The opening of the Farnborough International Airshow kicked off a “new” day for Airbus with the company highlighting its new engine option (NEO) single-aisle and widebody aircraft, as well as announcing new orders and unveiling its latest global market forecast.

“Xtra, Xtra”: New commercial activity 

The day’s commercial activity further reinforced this trend toward modern and fuel-efficient aircraft, with firm orders and announcements for 15 A350 XWB – “Xtra widebody” – Family aircraft, up to four A330neos, 10 A320ceos, and one A321.

Virgin Atlantic Airways captured early attention on the show’s first morning with an order for 12 A350-1000 aircraft, the largest member of the A350 XWB Family. This comprises eight directly purchased and four more on lease from Air Lease Corporation – with deliveries beginning in 2019.

Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group, praised the aircraft’s environmental benefits, operating efficiency and advanced construction, which includes more than 50 percent composite material in its airframe. “It’s a beautiful, beautiful plane,” he said. “Virgin Atlantic has been around for some 30 years, and I think the A350 will ensure that it is around in 30 years’ time.”

Announcements for aircraft from Airbus’ A320, A330 and A350 XWB product lines 

The UK-based airline revealed its order at a special media event, which followed the arrival of Branson, Fabrice Brégier, President and Chief Executive Office of Airbus, and other top management of both companies on-board one of Airbus’ in-house developmental A350 XWB aircraft.

Los-Angeles-based aircraft leasing company Air Lease Corporation (ALC) added to the A350 XWB orders at Farnborough with the announcement of a firm order for three A350-900s, as well as one A321. These aircraft will help ALC meet the market demand for modern, fuel-efficient aircraft, and bring its total orders for Airbus aircraft to 267.

Other Day 1 commercial activity included a memorandum of understanding with Vietnam’s JetStar Pacific Airlines for 10 A320ceo (current engine option); and an announcement that ARKIA Israeli Airlines will receive up to four A330-900neo aircraft, making it the first Airbus widebody customer in Israel.

Mapping demand: Looking to the future 

During a briefing at the Farnborough Airshow, Airbus unveiled its latest Global Market Forecast, titled “Mapping Demand” – which covers the 2016-2035 timeframe.

According to the report, Airbus latest projection foresees a 4.5 percent annual worldwide rate of air traffic growth over this time period that will require some 33,000 new passenger and dedicated freighter aircraft valued at $US 5.2 trillion.

The strong growth is fuelled by the rising demand in emerging markets, which contain middle classes that are expected to double over the next 20 years to a total size of 3.5 billion people. “The world population is getting wealthier, and it is getting more disposable income,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer – Customers, during the briefing to international media. “That is driving demand for air traffic.”

Airbus also foresees a trend towards higher-capacity aircraft, with a requirement for over 9,500 widebody and freighter aircraft over the next two decades – valued at some US$ 2.8 trillion. This total represents 29 percent of all new aircraft deliveries, and 54 percent by value.

In the single-aisle aircraft market, where Airbus’ A320 Family and latest-generation A320neo Family are firmly established as global leaders, the company forecasts a need for over 23,500 new aircraft worth US$ 2.4 trillion.

100 million flights: continued success for the A320 Family 

The A320neo is the latest in the continuing upgrades to the A320 Family since this best-selling product line’s commercial service entry in 1988. In that time, some 7,100 A320 Family aircraft have been delivered, performing over 100 million flights – a milestone that was eclipsed during June.

Building on that successful track record, Airbus’ A320neo Family has amassed over 4,500 orders since its launch in 2010, capturing some 60 percent share of the market. Thanks to their widest cabin, each member of the A320neo Family – the A319neo, A320neo and A321neo – offers unmatched comfort in all classes and Airbus’ 18-inch-wide seats in economy as standard. A total of eight A320neo aircraft have been delivered since handover of the first one in January 2016.

The A320neo delivers 15 percent fuel burn reduction right away when the aircraft enters into service, and by 2020 it will offer a 20 percent fuel burn improvement per seat that results from the NEO’s latest technologies, standard Sharklets wingtip devices, cabin innovation and new generation engines: Pratt & Whitney’s Pure Power PW1100G-JM, along with the CFM International LEAP-1A.

The A320neo provides significant environmental performance improvements as well with 5,000 tonnes less CO2 emissions per year per aircraft and nearly 50 percent reduction in noise footprint compared to previous generation aircraft.

A new development for the A330neo

As the latest evolution in Airbus’ comprehensive market-leading widebody product line, the A330neo programme comprises two versions – the A330-800neo and A330-900neo – which incorporate new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, along with aerodynamic improvements and the latest in the company’s cabin technology to provide unmatched operating economics.

The A330-800neo retains the current-production A330-200’s fuselage length, while the A330-900neo uses the longer fuselage of the A330-300. In addition to fuel-burn reduction, A330neo operators will benefit from up to 400 nautical miles of additional range, along with decreased maintenance costs.

Source: Airbus.

Lufthansa Technik: Qantas extends its A380 support contract with Spairliners until 2025

Courtesy: Qantas.

Courtesy: Qantas.

Qantas Airways Ltd., the Australian flag carrier based in Sydney, has renewed its Integrated Component Care contract with Spairliners who have been providing services since the A380 entry into service in 2008. The contract is effective from 01st of January 2016 and covers component pooling and repair solutions of all Line Replaceable Units (LRUs) for Qantas’ Airbus A380 aircraft fleet. As a result of the new agreement the contract provides an additional transportation service to and from Qantas’ Homebase in Sydney and all line stations.

The contracted services include the scope of about 1,000 part numbers (P/N) in total. Qantas offers A380 passenger transport services with 14 daily flights connecting Sydney and Melbourne to Dubai, London, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Dallas. Since operation of Qantas’ first A380 in 2008, the component provider has served the airline for over 350,000 flight hours. “Spairliners is our preferred component provider thanks to the successful partnership and improving high service levels through the time of the existing contract” says Mike Legrand, Procurement Engineering CAM Manager at Qantas Airways.

Source: Lufthansa Technik.

Air France to operate one-off Airbus A380 flight to Rio de Janeiro at the end of Summer Olympics 2016

Courtesy: Air France.

Courtesy: Air France.

Air France today announced that the airline is the official carrier of the French athletes for the Summer Olympics 2016. The company also stated that will operate exceptional flights to fly the French Olympic team and its fans home, as well as its other customers.

On the day after the closing ceremony, two Boeing 777-300ER charter flights – each one with 381 seats – will fly the entire French delegation and all the equipment from Rio de Janeiro to Paris – Charles de Gaulle.

To meet the high demand, for the first time Air France will perform an one-off operation of the superjumbo between the two cities, the Airbus A380 – with 516 seats – will exceptionally replace the normal Airbus A330 flight. This change represents an increase in capacity of 308 seats.

The airline is sponsoring Club France in Rio de Janeiro with a hospitality area at the Games where the athletes, media and corporates will be able to share the Olympic spirit.

Air France’s Airbus A380 one-off flight timetable*:

Flight Departs Arrives Date
AF 426 Paris (CDG)

01:30 PM

Rio de Janeiro

08:15 PM

AF 427 Rio de Janeiro

11:45 PM

Paris (CDG)

04:05 PM +1


*: Local time.

A winner for all: The A380 helps airports, passengers and airlines stay ahead at busy hubs

Courtesy: Airbus.

Courtesy: Airbus.

Airbus’ A380 is making its mark on the world’s busiest hubs – opening up new opportunities for these airports, as well as their passengers and airlines – with the aircraft’s unmatched spaciousness, efficiency and comfort.

Currently operating at some 50 destinations, the double-deck, 544-seat-capacity A380 is helping airports across the globe boost capacity, attract more passengers, increase revenue, free up slots at their gates, and reduce landing fees – benefits for both airlines and travellers.

Attracting passengers and generating more revenue

Capacity-constrained major international travel hubs such as London’s Heathrow and Hong Kong International Airport operate many scheduled A380 flights daily, and have seen the enormous benefits of Airbus’ 21st century flagship jetliner.

“The A380 has helped us to grow the number of passengers using Heathrow to around 75 million people last year,” said John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive Officer of Heathrow Airport. “It’s the largest plane in the world, it helps us serve more passengers on very busy routes out of Heathrow and it also frees up slots to serve new routes in North America, South America and Asia that we would not otherwise be able to serve.”

From the busiest airports to emerging markets

Another example of the A380’s success is at Hong Kong International Airport – Asia’s busiest hub, which has had more than 5,000 A380 services to date. Fred Lam, Hong Kong International Airport’s CEO, said Airbus’ double-deck aircraft is a true passenger magnet and Hong Kong International Airport is incentivizing airlines to operate bigger aircraft.

“We are almost reaching capacity,” Lam said. “One of the ways we feel we can continue to have passenger growth is to use our charging mechanism to encourage the airlines to switch to bigger aircraft so that with a similar number of slots they would be able to bring more passengers to our airport in the future, and make it cheaper per passenger.”

In addition to the world’s busiest airports, fast-developing air transportation markets are also positioned to benefit from the A380. Airbus’ Executive Vice President of Marketing and Strategy Kiran Rao cites the example of India, with an emerging middle class that is expected to exceed 400 million people in the coming years. “The only way to move all those passengers around is on a large aircraft and you have to do so with economic efficiency and with comfort, and the A380 is the solution.”

Source: Airbus.