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.

Austrian Airlines: Airbus A320 OE-LBZ took off on maiden flight to Bucharest

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines - Hannes Winter.

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines – Hannes Winter.

The Airbus A320 with the registration number OE-LBZ took off punctually today (November 28th, 2016) at 7:15 a.m. local time on its first flight OS 789 from Vienna to Bucharest. The aircraft named “Obertauern” offers sufficient space to seat 168 passengers. The medium-haul jet with the Star Alliance livery will be primarily deployed for bilateral flight traffic between Austria and Germany.

In addition to upgrading the fleet by integrating almost new Embraer aircraft to replace its Fokker jets, Austrian Airlines is also adding two Airbus A320 aircraft to expand its fleet. At the end of October the first of the two A320 with the registration number OE-LBY departed from Vienna on its initial flight, followed today by the jet with the designator OE-LBZ. On balance, a total of 31 aircraft of the A320 family are now being operated by Austrian Airlines: seven Airbus A319, 18 A320 and six A321.

Source: Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines again looking to hire 100 new pilots in 2017

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines – Michele Pauty.

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines – Michele Pauty.

Austrian Airlines will have hired a total of 145 new male and female pilots before the end of 2016. Moreover, it is searching for 100 pilots for the year 2017. The additional need for young pilots is related to the retraining drive triggered by the integration of 17 Embraer jets to replace the previous 21 Fokker planes, as well as the expansion of the fleet by two Airbus A320 and a long-haul Boeing 777 jet, which is scheduled for deployment starting with the 2018 summer flight schedule.

The pilots hired by Austrian Airlines in the year 2016 were pilots who were already trained. Some had flight experience outside of the Lufthansa Group, but the majority successfully completed their training within the Group however did not have any flight experience (young commercial pilots). “In 2017, Austrian Airlines will recruit applicants on the market who not possess any flight experience, and will train them from scratch”, explains Jens Ritter, Accountable Manager Austrian Airlines. “I am pleased that we will be able to give the go-ahead for the European Flight Academy, the new flight school for the Lufthansa Group, where future pilots will commence their basic flight instruction.”

Group flight school: the “European Flight Academy”

The first course for up to 30 young future pilots will begin on February 6, 2017. The future commercial pilots will complete the theoretical phase of their training in Bremen, Germany. Practical flight training will be held in Goodyear, Arizona in the USA and in Rostock-Laage, Germany, using modern and low-emission training aircraft. At the end of their training, which lasts for about 21 months, they will receive the so-called Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL). Subsequently, the graduates will have to acquire the license to fly a specific type of aircraft, in which they will begin their flying career at Austrian Airlines.

The selection process will take place in Vienna or Hamburg. The course participants are required to successfully complete the aptitude test prepared by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt – DLR).

Requirements

The job vacancies target both men and women and are aimed at applicants with flight experience (so-called ready entries) as well as those without any flight experience (so-called ab initios). The requirements for potential candidates are EU citizenship as well as a secondary school diploma, vocational diploma or university entrance qualification or subject-specific entrance qualification of the country of origin. Candidates should be at least 165 cm tall, and possess an unrestricted passport. Moreover, they should have a very good command of German and English (written and spoken). People with eyeglasses or contact lenses may only have a maximum of +/-3.0 diopters. Further information for potential applicants is available at www.austrianpilot.at.

The Austrian Airlines fleet

On balance, Austrian Airlines will employ about 1,100 pilots on its staff by the end of 2016. The Austrian Airlines fleet currently consists of 78 aircraft, including 11 long-haul airplanes and 67 short- and medium-haul jets.

Source: Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines will operate flights to Gothenburg starting June 2017

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines is expanding its flight offering to Scandinavia, and will relaunch service to Gothenburg as of June 2, 2017. It will deploy an Embraer jet for three weekly flights to Sweden’s second largest city. On balance, Austria’s national carrier offers travelers two destinations and 24 direct flight connections to Sweden i.e. 21 weekly flights to Stockholm and three times each week to Gothenburg. Starting with its summer 2017 flight schedule, Austrian Airlines will boast a total of four destinations in three Scandinavian countries, namely Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm and Gothenburg. Austrian Airlines operated flights on the Vienna-Gothenburg-Vienna route up until the year 2012, and cancelled flight service within the context of its fleet Boeing 737 reduction program.

The flights to the Swedish college town comprise an optimal flight traffic linking Vienna with the Gothenburg business location. In addition, Austrian Airlines offers the best possible connecting flights to Austria’s federal provinces as well as to Central and Eastern Europe. Flight time from Vienna to Gothenburg is about two hours.

Vienna-Gothenburg-Vienna:

Route Flight number Weekday Departure-Arrival
Vienna-Gothenburg

 

OS 323 Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 9:50 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.
Gothenburg-Vienna

 

OS 324 Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays

12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Source: Austrian Airlines.

Lufthansa Group to serve new holiday destinations over winter

Courtesy: Airbus.

Courtesy: Airbus.

The airlines in the Lufthansa group – Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, Lufthansa and Swiss International Air Lines – will be even a more attractive option for winter holidaymakers and business travellers this winter. As always, passengers can rely on the high standard of service, quality and reliability of the Lufthansa Group.

In the forthcoming 2016/2017 winter flight timetable, the airlines of the Lufthansa Group will offer its customers precisely 19,838 flights each week around the world. This winter, the Lufthansa Group airlines will link 255 destinations in 101 countries via its hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels, but also via many point-to-point routes. These services will be supplemented by more than 18,000 code-sharing flights with some 30 partner airlines, offering passengers a network which almost spans the globe. The winter flight timetables for the individual Group airlines apply from Sunday, 30 October 2016 to Saturday, 25 March 2017.

Key news from the Lufthansa group airlines:

Lufthansa

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Lufthansa lists a total of 194 destinations in its winter flight timetable and offers approximately 9,668 flights a week. There is some good news for travellers who love South Africa: Lufthansa is adding a service from Frankfurt to Cape Town (South Africa) to its flight timetable again this winter.  Starting on 2 December 2016, a Lufthansa aircraft will take off from Frankfurt every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday bound for the port city near Table Mountain. This year-round service expands the Lufthansa Group’s multi-hub portfolio and perfectly complements the seasonal service previously operated out of Munich and Zurich in conjunction with Edelweiss.

Flights will also run to San Jose (USA) in Silicon Valley over winter, along with the attractive dream destinations of Mauritius, Malé (Maldives) and Cancún (Mexico). Lufthansa has significantly increased the number of connections to Nairobi (Kenya), Dallas (USA) and Poona (India).

Funchal (Madeira) is being added to the European programme, with a once-weekly flight to the city commencing on 29 October 2016. Thanks to mild weather all year round, the Portuguese island primarily attracts walkers during the winter season.

The list of new European destinations served out of Frankfurt also includes Tromsø (Norway) and Ivalo (Finland), with one flight to each per week. With these two new destinations and its existing twice-weekly service from Munich to Kittilä (Finland), Lufthansa will fly to three attractive tourist destinations in the far north of Europe. This region is gaining in popularity among winter sports enthusiasts and holidaymakers keen to see the northern lights. The summer destination of Tirana (Albania) will remain on the winter flight timetable, with daily flights to the city from Frankfurt. There will be an increase in the number of connections from Frankfurt to Friedrichshafen and Wrocław (Poland) over winter.

A new year-round service to Marrakesh (Morocco) will be offered out of Munich. Lufthansa will start operating this route on 30 October, taking passengers to the Moroccan city twice a week. Denver (USA) and Tehran (Iran) will be added to the winter flight timetable as new destinations and there will be more frequent services to Los Angeles, Miami (both USA) and Tel Aviv (Israel).

Debrecen (Hungary), Odessa (Ukraine) and Porto (Portugal) will remain on the timetable. Passengers will be able to fly from Munich to the Polish city of Rzeszów this winter for the first time. There will also be additional weekly services to Ancona (Italy) and Graz (Austria). Twice as many flights will run to Malta.

Austrian Airlines

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

In winter 2016/2017, Austrian Airlines will offer its passengers a wide range of up to 130 destinations in 56 countries. The Austrian carrier is stepping up its focus on tourist destinations over winter. For instance, a Boeing 767 will fly to the Cuban city of Havana once a week starting on 25 October. In addition, there will be direct flights from Vienna to the Maldives and Mauritius up to twice a week. The airline will offer as many as two weekly connections to Marrakesh and a once-weekly flight to Colombo in Sri Lanka in its winter flight timetable. With these additions, Austrian will address its strong seasonality and fly to an interesting range of sunny destinations in winter as well as in summer.

Brussels Airlines

Courtesy: Brussels Airlines

Courtesy: Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines will serve a large number of new destinations this winter. Starting on 6 March 2017, the Belgian airline will fly to the Indian metropolis of Mumbai from Brussels five times a week. The new service to Toronto (Canada), which was introduced during the last flight timetable period, will continue to run over winter.

There is good news for anyone looking to travel to Africa. The seating capacity on flights to the popular winter destinations of Banjul (Gambia) and Dakar (Senegal) will be increased and more frequent services to Entebbe (Uganda) and Kigali (Rwanda) will make it easier to travel to East Africa.

Compared with last winter, Brussels Airlines has significantly expanded its flight timetable, adding services from Brussels to Porto (Portugal), Naples (Italy), Belfast (Ireland), Nuremberg (Germany) and Nantes (France). On top of this, the airline is increasing its weekly flights to Lisbon (Portugal), Málaga, Tenerife (both Spain), Edinburgh (UK) and Billund (Denmark).

Eurowings

Courtesy: Lufthansa Group.

Courtesy: Lufthansa Group.

Eurowings will further add to its growing list of services from Austria in the new winter flight timetable. For the first time, Eurowings Europe aircraft will fly from the new base in Salzburg to Zurich (Switzerland) six times a week, Geneva (Switzerland) three times a week, Brussels (Belgium) four times, Paris (France) five times and Hamburg (Germany) three times a week. There will be seven flights per week to Cologne-Bonn (Germany).

A host of attractive new destinations will be served out of Vienna this winter. Eurowings passengers will be able to fly to Málaga, Fuerteventura and Las Palmas twice a week or head to the Andalusian city of Jerez de la Frontera (all Spain) once a week. Rome and Pisa will be added to the list of destinations in Italy. Passengers looking to soak up the Egyptian sun over winter can now fly from Vienna to Marsa Alam (Egypt) once a week. A new once-weekly service will also be available to Faro (Portugal). Passengers will also be able to fly to Nuremberg (Germany) eleven times a week over winter. Thanks to the expansion of the flight timetable at the new foreign base in Vienna, passengers will be able to reach 18 destinations for the first time.

During the winter season, the long-haul programme will be expanded with a once-weekly flight from Cologne to the Cuban capital of Havana. The first winter service from Cologne to Miami (USA) and back will also be introduced. This US destination was first included in the flight timetable in summer 2016. There will be more frequent long-haul services from Cologne to Varadero (Cuba), Mauritius and Phuket (Thailand).

The destinations of Lanzarote, Fuerteventura (both Spain) and Lisbon (Portugal) will be added to the list of flights out of Düsseldorf. Passengers will be offered new services from Hamburg to Tenerife and Fuerteventura (both Spain) this winter.

In the new winter flight timetable 2016/2017, Eurowings will serve 91 destinations in 34 countries.

SWISS

Courtesy: SWISS.

Courtesy: SWISS.

In the forthcoming winter flight timetable, the new SWISS long-haul aircraft, a Boeing 777-300ER, will be used for flights to Miami and San Francisco for the first time. Starting on 3 March 2017, the new flagship will also fly to Singapore every day. This service is currently run three times a week using a Boeing 777-300ER. SWISS will also step up its weekly connections to Hamburg, Berlin (both Germany), Cracow (Poland) and Belgrade (Serbia) in winter. Between 4 and 25 February 2017, SWISS will also offer a number of new scheduled flights between Zurich, Sion (Valais, Switzerland) and London City (UK) to meet the demand for attractive services catering for winter tourism. SWISS will use larger aircraft on flights to Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia), Portugal (Lisbon) and Italy (Rome, Florence) this winter.

In the new winter flight timetable 2016/2017, SWISS will serve 100 destinations in 44 countries.

In addition to this, SWISS will offer connections to holiday destinations around the world in conjunction with its partner Edelweiss during the winter season 2016/2017. More frequent flights will be offered to the Canary Islands. For the first time, there will be five flights a week to Tenerife, four to Gran Canaria and two to both Fuerteventura and Lanzarote (all Spain). Passengers will also be able to fly to Seville (Spain) twice a week over winter for the first time.

Source: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Austrian Embraer with Star Alliance livery took off on maiden flight

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines - Michele Pauty.

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines – Michele Pauty.

Yesterday evening (September 30th, 2016), another Embraer aircraft took off on its initial flight OS 657 from Vienna to Chişinău, the capital city of the Republic of Moldova. This jet is the first aircraft in the Austrian Airlines fleet bearing both the new red-white-red Austrian Airlines livery as well as the Star Alliance lettering. The Embraer featuring the registration number OE-LWH is already the tenth of a total of 17 of this type of aircraft which Austrian Airlines will integrate into its fleet by the end of 2017, thus successively replacing 21 Fokker jets.

The Embraer jets consume about 18 percent less fuel per aircraft seat than the Fokker, and are thus much more environmentally friendly. The fleet renewal program also enhances travel comfort: the cabin, which has a 2-2 seat configuration, is particularly spacious thanks to its ergonomic design and therefore offers passengers a feeling of enjoying more space. The Embraer jets have an average age of four years and have a seating capacity for 120 passengers. The list price of an Embraer jet is about USD 52 million.

Source: Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines flies to the Seychelles

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines will initiate flight service to the Seychelles starting with its winter 2017/18 flight schedule. As of October 25, 2017, it will fly non-stop every Wednesday from Vienna to the vacation island in the Indian Ocean, returning to Vienna on Thursdays. “Demand for direct flights to long-haul tourist destinations is high. We responded: In addition to Mauritius, Colombo and Havana, the Seychelles represent our fourth new destination within a period of only two years”, says Austrian Airlines CCO Andreas Otto.

As a result, Austrian Airlines will offer a total of five long-haul tourist destinations in its winter 2017/18 flight schedule. Up to two flights per week will be operated to both Mauritius and the Maldives. Austrian Airline will also operate one direct flight each week to Colombo, Havana and the Seychelles.

The Republic of Seychelles is an island state consisting of about 115 islands in the Indian Ocean. Flights can be booked at www.austrian.com or in a travel agency starting on October 25, 2016.

Austrian Airlines will deploy a Boeing 767 for flights to the Seychelles:

Route Flight number Flight days Departure – Arrival (Local times)
Vienna – Seychelles OS 013 Wednesdays 8:05 p.m. – 8 a.m. (next day)
Seychelles – Vienna OS 014 Thursdays 10:10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

 Source: Austrian Airlines.