British Airways: Launch of Milan flights from two London airports

Courtesy: British Airways.

British Airways is launching new year-round services to Milan, Italy from two London airports in April.

The new routes to Milan’s Linate Airport will start from London City Airport on April 24 and from Stansted Airport on April 29.

There will be two flights a day on week days and one a day at weekends from London City and two a week from Stansted.

Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ general manager customer and commercial, said: “Milan is a very exciting route for us as it will appeal to both business and leisure customers. The new services gives the choice of two alternative London airports with well-timed flights to Linate, which is Milan’s most convenient airport.”

Earlier this month British Airways announced new summer-only routes from London City to Skiathos, Greece and to Manchester, which together with Milan means flights to 30 destinations will operate in British Airways’ colours from the Docklands airport this summer.

At Stansted British Airways is launching three new destinations, including a second Italian city Florence, and increasing frequency on some existing routes. The new service to Milan will be the airline’s ninth route this summer.

All flights will operate on modern Embraer 190 jet aircraft, with spacious cabins and two abreast seating so every customer can have an aisle or window seat.

Basic each way fares from London City and Stansted to Milan from £45 are available to book on www.ba.com

Customers flying in Euro Traveller benefit from allocated seats, a generous hand-baggage allowance and loyalty points which can be used to buy food and drink on board flights or towards other trips

Club Europe customers receive complimentary food and drinks on board, a generous free baggage allowance and free seat selection and on-line check-in.

Italian airline Meridiana, who currently codeshare on the British Airways services between Linate and Heathrow, will in future also codeshare on the new services from London City and Stansted.

Source: British Airways.

British Airways flights return to Birmingham and Bristol

Courtesy: British Airways.

British Airways is to start flying from Birmingham and Bristol airports again with the launch of four new summer-only routes to popular European sunspots.

From May the airline will begin direct flights from both Birmingham and Bristol to the popular Spanish destinations of Malaga, Ibiza and Palma and to the Italian city of Florence.

They will operate on modern Embraer 190 jet aircraft, with spacious cabins and two abreast seating so every customer can have an aisle or window seat.

The new return flights from both airports will operate once a week at weekends.

British Airways last flew from Birmingham and Bristol in 2007 when the regional airline business was sold to Flybe.

Since then Vueling and Iberia Express, subsidiaries of British Airways’ parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG), have started up services to Barcelona, Malaga, Alicante, Tenerife, Paris Orly and Madrid from Birmingham, while Aer Lingus has continued to operate to Dublin from Birmingham since 1984.

Aer Lingus Regional operate from Bristol to Dublin.

The news comes just a week after British Airways announced it is to resume European flights from Manchester Airport and increase destinations and frequencies from both London City and Stansted airports this summer.

Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ general manager commercial and customer, said: “We are very excited to be returning to Birmingham and Bristol with four very popular routes. Customers can once again enjoy competitively priced flights to the sun direct from their doorstep with British Airways to those destinations they tell us they want to fly to. We look forward to a busy summer at both airports.”

David Winstanley, Chief Operating Officer for Birmingham Airport, said, “Having British Airways return to Birmingham is not only great news for the airport but also the Midlands region and we are confident this is the beginning of a long-term growth plan with the airline. Launching these four routes, of which Florence is currently unserved, means British Airways and Avios card holders as well as leisure travellers looking for a two-class cabin product can travel from their more convenient airport than those further afield. We look forward to welcoming one of the world’s most recognisable and trusted brands back to Birmingham in May.”

Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer, Bristol Airport said: “We are delighted with today’s announcement which will see the iconic British Airways brand returning to Bristol Airport.  It will be the first time an airline has operated a scheduled service between Bristol and the Italian historic city of Florence which we are sure will prove very popular. These additional flights to Palma, Florence, Ibiza and Malaga offers passengers in the South West and Wales region further choice of scheduled flights for the summer season. We look forward to working with British Airways on the new routes and further enhancing the services available from Bristol. “

Source: British Airways.

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.

Air Canada unveils new livery inspired by Canada

Courtesy: Air Canada.

At three events held simultaneously across Canada in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, Air Canada today (February 09th, 2017) unveiled for its customers and employees, a bold new livery inspired by Canada for its entire fleet, elegant new uniforms for its employees, and a taste of some of the new onboard menu offerings that its customers can look forward to.

“Air Canada’s new livery signals a pivotal inflection point in our 80-year history,” said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at the event in Toronto, where the airline’s largest hub is located. “On the occasion of Canada’s 150th anniversary year, with our new livery, new uniforms for our employees, the award-winning international cabin standard introduced with the launch of our Boeing 787 aircraft, and enhanced onboard offerings, the future Air Canada represents the strength of our nation and the future-looking spirit of our airline.  On behalf of our 30,000 employees world-wide, it is a privilege to fly Canada’s flag, and we are proud to showcase some of the best of this nation’s talent as we continue to expand Air Canada’s horizons to fly to more than 200 destinations on six continents.”

Air Canada’s fleet of 300 mainline and regional aircraft are being repainted in a bold black and white design that highlights its iconic red maple leaf encircled ensign, or “rondelle,” that returns to the tail of the flag carrier’s fleet after an absence of 24 years.  Reflecting Canada’s vastness and contrasting seasons, with references to its wildlife and First Nations heritage, the new fleet livery was designed by international design firm Winkreative, headed by Canadian entrepreneur Tyler Brûlé. Following today’s events, the first three aircraft sporting this new livery will enter service immediately. Videos and photos of Air Canada’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner in the new livery are available here: aircanada.com/livery.

With the new livery providing a sleek, contemporary backdrop, Air Canada premiered elegant charcoal grey and black employee uniforms with red accents and accessories by Canadian designer Christopher Bates.  The stylish uniforms combining urban chic and international flair complement the charcoal greys, natural tones and red accents featured in the new interior cabin design of Air Canada’s international fleet. The airline’s pilots, flight attendants, airport customer service agents and other uniformed personnel comprising approximately two-thirds of its 30,000 global workforce will start wearing their new uniforms later this year. Photos are available here: www.aircanada.com/uniform.

On hand at the event at Air Canada’s main hub in Toronto were Tyler Brûlé and Christopher Bates to celebrate with customers and employees, together with the airline’s award-winning culinary partner, British Columbia-based chef  David Hawksworth, and world renowned Quebec-based sommelier, Véronique Rivest, both actively involved in developing Air Canada’s premium menu choices. Air Canada’s selection of Signature dishes, created by Chef Hawksworth, showcases the finest Canadian ingredients from across the country available since it was launched in October 2015 for Air Canada’s International Business Class customers. Air Canada’s new sommelier, Véronique Rivest, will expertly pair the dishes and develop Air Canada’s wine program with a selection of Canadian, old and new world wine that are changed seasonally to highlight the best wines to be enjoyed at 30,000 feet.

In addition, guests were treated to a sampling of some of the new onboard menu choices that will be available for Air Canada customers starting this April, including Lavazza premium Italian coffee that becomes the airline’s new coffee offering among its complimentary beverage selections for all customers, and Toronto-based Dufflet Pastries’ pumpkin spice loaf which will be featured on flights to Europe in Premium Economy and Economy Class cabins. Guests also sampled a selection of Quebec fine cheeses including Oka, camembert and cheddar, alongside freshly baked bread from Quebec artisanal bakery Première Moisson, paired with a Vineland Estates Winery white wine from Ontario’s Niagara region and Les Athlètes du Vin, a French Pinot Noir, both selected by sommelier Véronique Rivest, which will debut for Air Canada’s International Business Class customers in April.

In 2016, Air Canada significantly increased its global footprint with the launch of 28 new routes including 15 new international and 12 U.S. trans-border routes. With new service to Morocco, the airline joined the elite club of global carriers serving all six continents. In 2016, Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge started new services between Toronto-Seoul, Toronto-London Gatwick, Toronto-Prague, Toronto-Budapest, Toronto-Warsaw, Toronto-Glasgow, Montreal-Casablanca, Montreal-Lyon, Vancouver-Delhi, Vancouver-Brisbane and Vancouver-Dublin.

In 2017, Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge will continue its global strategic expansion and will launch new international services between Toronto-Mumbai, Toronto-Berlin, Toronto- Reykjavik, Montreal-Shanghai, Montreal-Algiers, Montreal-Marseille, Montreal- Reykjavik, Vancouver-Taipei, Vancouver-Nagoya, Vancouver-Frankfurt, and Vancouver-London Gatwick.  Air Canada will also receive its first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft at the end of 2017, marking the start of its narrowbody fleet renewal program, to be followed in 2019 with the delivery of its first Bombardier C Series aircraft.

To date, Air Canada has taken delivery of 23 new Boeing 787 Dreamliners with 14 more planned by 2019 – all offering the new international cabin standard. In addition, the airline completed the reconfiguration of its entire Boeing 777 fleet of 25 aircraft with the state-of-the-art Dreamliner cabin configuration and inflight entertainment systems.

Air Canada continues to receive top honours, including being named the fastest growing brand among Canada’s largest companies and being recognized by Skytrax as the only Four Star international network carrier in North America. Air Canada, was also named in 2016 among Canada’s Top 100 Employers for a fourth year in a row.

Source: Air Canada.

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.

Qantas Sydney – Beijing flights take off in time for Chinese New Year

Courtesy: Qantas.

Qantas’ new flights to Beijing take off today (January 25th, 2017), helping power the Australia-China travel boom and marking the next step in the national carrier’s Chinese growth strategy.

Beijing is Qantas’ third destination in Greater China, joining Shanghai and Hong Kong.   The new service gives the capital’s 21 million residents a direct gateway to Australia, representing a huge opportunity for the Australian tourism industry and Australian companies doing business in China under the Free Trade Agreement.

Inbound flights on the new route are timed to connect with Qantas’ domestic network to popular onward destinations such as Melbourne, Brisbane and Hobart, as well as the airline’s Tasman services to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.

Qantas will be working with Tourism Australia, Destination NSW and across its own marketing channels to showcase Australia for a Chinese audience, as well as jointly selling the route with its joint venture partner China Eastern.

Flights will operate to Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 3, using a 235 seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft.  Overall, the service adds 3,300 seats to the market per week.

CEO Alan Joyce said the 12 hour route takes Qantas’ long history of serving China into a new era.

“It’s the perfect time for Qantas to fly to Beijing. The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement is hitting its stride and China is on track to become the number one source of visitors to Australia within the next year or so,” said Mr Joyce.

“What’s really exciting is the potential we see for the future.  We now have the Qantas Group’s biggest ever network in Greater China, and our goal is to make our Beijing route a flagship corridor for tourism and trade.

“For Chinese travellers, our message is that there’s no better way of getting to know Australia than with the national carrier.  In the business market, this route gives our companies the ability to win new business and get their products and services into the market. And it’s a positive for the Australian travel industry.  So whichever way you look at it, this is a good news story.”

The new Beijing service is part of Qantas’ growth strategy for China and the broader Asian region, increasing its total capacity on routes to Asia by seven per cent.

Together with its partners China Eastern and China Southern, Qantas customers can now choose from 130 weekly return flights between Australia and China, plus close to 256 connecting services to domestic destinations within China.  The Jetstar Group of airlines offers more than 30 return flights a week into eight Chinese cities from Singapore and Vietnam.

Today’s route launch follows the beginning of Melbourne-Tokyo Narita flights before Christmas and the announcement last week of a new Jetstar service between Melbourne and Ho Chi Minh city, to begin in May 2017.

Launch celebrations will take place in both cities, including the traditional Chinese Lion Dance and the gifting to passengers of chocolates inside red packets to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Source: Qantas.

Lufthansa Technik develops new antenna radome for faster data transfer

Courtesy: Lufthansa Technik.

Lufthansa Technik has developed its first radome for the Ka-band. The innovative material layer structure of the TIOS (Two-In-One Solution) radome makes it possible to install Ka-band antennas, providing optimal high-speed internet and TV connections for all Boeing Business Jets I (737-700) and II (737-800). This makes Lufthansa Technik one of just a few manufacturers of such radomes worldwide. In December 2016, Lufthansa Technik received the EASA STC (Supplement Type Certificate) and FAA validation for the Two-In-One Solution. Lufthansa Technik has already registered a patent to protect the new radome housing design.

The innovative approach of installing TIOS on the vertical stabilizer makes it the ideal platform for satcom and satellite TV antennas as well as an HD camera. In combination with the installation of the antenna system in the rear fuselage of the aircraft, this solution not only saves space; it also reduces the weight by up to 100 kilograms.

Andrew Muirhead, head of Lufthansa Technik’s Original Equipment Innovation division, explains further benefits of TIOS: “The special aerodynamic design and the installation on the vertical stabilizer mean that the radome reduces drag and has a positive effect on the aircraft’s center of gravity.”

Lufthansa Technik has offered a radome for Ku/L band antennas since 2000. “As the first version of TIOS is not suitable for Ka-band frequencies with high data rates, we investigated many different materials and their characteristics as part of the development of the new TIOS. Ultimately, we were able to develop an innovative material layer structure that allows frequencies in the Ka band to pass through, providing double speed data transfer for passengers,” reports Beate Rehberg, Product Manager TIOS, Original Equipment Innovation at Lufthansa Technik.

Source: Lufthansa Technik.