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.

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.

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.

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.

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.