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.

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.

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.

Development milestone: Integration begins for Airbus’ next-generation Beluga XL

Courtesy: Airbus.

Airbus’ next-generation oversize cargo airlifter is transitioning from concept to reality as the first Beluga XL core airframe starts its 18-month integration process at the company’s production facilities in Toulouse, France.

The core airframe is an extract of an Airbus A330-200 freighter that already has been structurally reinforced, providing the platform on which the Beluga XL airframe will be built. This element was assembled in December without a nose fuselage or tail assembly – both of which will be added during activity planned in 2017.

Integration of the Beluga XL core airframe will be performed inside the two-section L34 building at Airbus’ Lagardère industrial zone, which is adjacent to Toulouse-Blagnac Airport.

For the first 12 months of the assembly activity, the airframe will be completed and its mechanical and electrical systems will be fitted at an integration station. For the remaining six months, the aircraft will move to a second station for ground testing and engine installation.

“The coming year of final integration will be a series of small steps,” said Beluga XL programme head Bertrand George. “The number of holes to be drilled and fasteners to be installed is far bigger than on any other Airbus aircraft. Sticking to schedule at each step is the key to being ready for first flight in 2018. I fully trust the capability of our teams to make it happen together.”

Based on the airframe of the versatile A330 jetliner, a total of five Beluga XL airlifters are to be built, with the first to enter operational service in 2019. They will gradually replace the existing fleet of Beluga ST aircraft, which were derived from the shorter-fuselage A300.

Once the first Beluga XL enters service, it will provide crucial support to Airbus’ production ramp-up from day one thanks to its ability to carry a full set of A350 XWB wings.

Source: Airbus.

Lufthansa takes delivery of its first A350 aircraft

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

The Lufthansa Group, Airbus’ largest airline customer and operator, has taken delivery of its first A350 XWB, the world’s newest and most efficient twin engine widebody airliner. The aircraft is the first of 25 A350-900s that Lufthansa has on order. Lufthansa will deploy their first A350s on long-haul routes from Munich to Delhi and Munich to Boston.

Powered by Rolls-Royce engines, Lufthansa’s A350 XWB will feature a comfortable three-class cabin layout with 48 seats in Business, 21 seats in Premium Economy and 224 seats in Economy. The A350 XWB is equipped with Lufthansa’s latest cabin products including new seats, an all-new inflight entertainment experience and, for the first time, inflight connectivity, offering new levels of comfort and convenience to Lufthansa’s passengers in all classes.

Courtesy: Airbus.

The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fibre 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 810 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 43 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

Source: Airbus.