KLM flies Paralympic medal winners back to the Netherlands

Courtesy: KLM / Marco Spuyman.

Courtesy: KLM / Marco Spuyman.

On reaching Dutch airspace, the KLM aircraft was again flanked by two F-16s of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, as was the case after the Olympic Games. The aircraft was given a festive “shower of affection” by the fire brigade on its arrival at Schiphol. The athletes were welcomed by René de Groot (Chief Operating Officer of KLM) and Harm Kreulen (Managing Director of KLM The Netherlands).

On arrival at Schiphol, the athletes passed through an honour guard of KLM personnel in uniform on their way to the busses that brought them to Tivoli/Vredenburg in Utrecht for the official reception ceremony. The Netherlands won a total of 17 gold medals, 19 silver medals and 26 bronze medals at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Source: KLM.

Boeing 777X to feature touchscreen flight displays from Rockwell Collins

Courtesy: Rockwell Collins.

Courtesy: Rockwell Collins.

Boeing has selected Rockwell Collins to provide its industry-leading touchscreen flight displays for all five flight deck displays on the new Boeing 777X. The advanced touchscreen capability will make the flight deck more intuitive for pilots and more efficient for flight operations. This is the first time a commercial air transport aircraft will be equipped with touchscreen forward flight displays.

“Touchscreens are everywhere in our lives and we applaud Boeing for taking the bold step to embrace this next evolution in flight deck technology for an advanced aircraft like the 777X,” said Kent Statler, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Commercial Systems for Rockwell Collins. “A touch-controlled flight deck environment makes it easier for pilots to manage information and do their jobs, and speeds up the process to complete tasks.”

The 777X touchscreen flight displays will be multi-touch, so two pilots can touch the same screen at the same time. In addition, the touchscreens will utilize resistive technology (firm touch versus light) for avoiding unintentional interaction with the displays. The touchscreen bezel will provide bracing features for operation during turbulence.

Rockwell Collins is a long-time, leading provider of flight displays for the aerospace and defense industry and was the first to certify touchscreen primary flight displays for commercial aviation, on a business aircraft platform.

As Boeing’s display provider on all of its next-generation aircraft, including the 777X, 787 Dreamliner, 737 MAX and the 747-8, Rockwell Collins is delivering a common graphical foundation for pilots across all of these platforms.

Boeing’s selection of Rockwell Collins for the 777X touchscreen displays adds to the number of solutions that Rockwell Collins will provide on the aircraft, including the integrated surveillance system with MultiScan™ weather radar, select flight controls, Avionics Gateway secure server router and optional dual Head-up Guidance System.

Boeing has 300 orders and commitments for the 777X, with first deliveries planned for 2020.

Source: Rockwell Collins.


Austrian Airlines initiates flight service to Los Angeles

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines Group.

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines Group.

Austrian Airlines will add a new long-haul destination in North America to its flight schedule in the summer of 2017. Starting on April 10, 2017, a Boeing 777 will take off for Vienna bound for Los Angeles, the largest city in California, up to six times each week. “After Chicago, Newark and Miami, L.A. is now the fourth new flight destination and the so far biggest leap into the USA. We will fly to the West Coast with our existing fleet and are already very excited about this new venture”, says Austrian Airlines Chief Commercial Officer Andreas Otto. In an initial step, the Vienna-Los Angeles route will be served seasonally in the summer 2017 flight schedule. The metropolis of Los Angeles with its millions of inhabitants is not only interesting for point-to-point but especially for transfer traffic. About two-thirds of the passengers will transfer flights at the Vienna flight hub.

In its summer 2017 flight schedule, Austrian Airlines will offer a total of up to 44 weekly non-stop flights to North America. This will encompass up to five times per week to Miami, a maximum of six weekly flights each to Los Angeles and Toronto, and up to one flight each day to Washington and Chicago. Austrian Airlines will continue to offer thirteen weekly flights to New York. However, flight times to New York JFK will be adjusted as of March 27, 2017. Of the six weekly flights to New York, four of the departures will be shifted from the morning to the afternoon. Flight schedule changes such as these will enable Austrian Airlines to free sufficient capacity in its existing aircraft fleet to offer flight service to Los Angeles and thus add another long-haul destination. Thanks to the new flight times, customers will have the advantage of being able to choose between a morning flight to Newark and an afternoon flight to New York JFK, and thus the opportunity to travel to New York at different times of day.

Flight Times from Vienna to New York JFK till March, 26, 2017:

Route Flight number Flight days Departure – Arrival (local times)
Vienna – New York JFK OS 087


Up to daily 10:45 a.m.- 2:45 p.m.


New York JFK – Vienna OS 088


Up to daily 5:40 p.m. – 8:20 a.m. (next day)


NEW: Flight Times to New York JFK from March, 27, 2017:

Route Flight number Flight days Departure – Arrival (local times)
Vienna – New York JFK OS 087


Tuesdays, Thursday 10:45 a.m. – 2:15 p.m.


OS 085 Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays NEW: 5:10 p.m. – 8:20 p.m.
New York JFK – Vienna OS 088


Tuesdays, Thursday 5:40 p.m. – 8:20 a.m. (next day)
OS 086 Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays NEW: 10:05 p.m. – 12:20 p.m. (next day)

The duration of the journey from Vienna to Los Angeles at a distance of more than 9,877 kilometers is about 12 hours 30 minutes. Tickets from Vienna to Los Angeles will be available starting at EUR 719 for round-trip flights, including taxes and fees. Tickets can be booked effective immediately either online at www.austrian.com, by phone at +43 (0) 5 1766 1000 or in a travel agency.

Austrian Airlines will operate a Boeing 777 to Los Angeles:

Route Flight number Flight days Departure – Arrival (local times)
Vienna – Los Angeles OS 081 Daily except Sundays 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Los Angeles – Vienna OS 082 Daily except Sundays 3:05 p.m. – 12 p.m. (next day)

The Lufthansa Group offering to Los Angeles starting with the summer 2017 flight schedule:

Route Flight number Flight days Departure – Arrival (local times)
Frankfurt – Los Angeles LH 456

LH 450



10:15 a.m. – 12:55 p.m.

2:05 p.m. – 4:40 p.m.

Los Angeles – Frankfurt LH 457

LH 451



3:25 p.m. – 11:20 a.m. (next day)

7:15 p.m. – 3 p.m. (next day)

Munich – Los Angeles LH 452 Daily 12 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Los Angeles – Munich LH 453 Daily 5:05 p.m. – 1:30 p.-m. (next day)
Zürich – Los Angeles LX 040 Daily 1:15 p.m. – 4:20 p.m.
Los Angeles – Zürich LX 041 Daily

7:40 p.m. – 3:40 p.m. (next day)

Source: Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines: Initial flight to Hong Kong departs today

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

Starting today, Austrian Airlines is serving another destination in Asia. Austria’s red-white-red flag carrier operates a Boeing 777 to Hong Kong up to five times a week. “As a result, we are now offering flights to Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, the three biggest cities in Greater China”, explains Austrian Airlines Chief Commercial Officer Andreas Otto. “Following the successful expansion of our flight offering to North America, we are now focusing on Greater China. In spite of the latest reports about an economic downturn, growth forecasts still predict promising economic expansion for Greater China in the coming years. For this reason, especially for large cities such as Shanghai and Hong Kong, we foresee an interesting potential for Austrian Airlines in its role as the air traffic backbone for industry and tourism in Austria”, he adds.

Also Norbert Kettner, director of Vienna Tourist Board, comments on the new flights: “Direct flights are one of the driving forces behind the growth of  bednights – the new flight from Hong Kong by Austrian Airlines, our most important strategic partner, will help boost an already strong influx of guests from China to new levels.”

Longhaul aircraft Boeing 777 with special branding

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

For its inaugural flight to Hong Kong Austrian Airlines specially branded a Boeing 777 with the registration OE-LPD. With the lettering “Servus Hong Kong” Austrian Airlines welcomes the new destination in its route network. In order to pay respect, the lettering is also shown in traditional Chinese characters combined with Hong Kong’s flag. The flag represents a stylized, white, five-petal Bauhinia-blossom, a flower that specifically originated in Hong Kong.

In Winter 23 weekly non-stop flights to Asia

In total, Austrian Airlines will offer up to 23 weekly non-stop flights to Asia in the upcoming winter flight schedule. The airline will operate daily flights to Bangkok, and up to four flights per week to Shanghai and Hong Kong with a Boeing 777. Austrian Airlines will operate a Boeing 767 up to five times each week for flights to Beijing, the capital city of the People’s Republic of China. In addition, it will fly passengers to Colombo and Malé as tourist destinations in the winter flight schedule 2016/17 starting in October 2016. Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, will be served once a week, whereas two weekly flights with a Boeing 767 will be operated to the Maldives.

Austrian Airlines will offer flights to Hong Kong throughout the entire year. The duration of flights from Vienna to Hong Kong at a distance of more than 8,700 km is about 11 hours 25 minutes. Tickets from Vienna to Hong Kong are available starting at EUR 599 for round-trip flights, including taxes and fees. Tickets can be booked online at www.austrian.com, by phone at +43 (0) 5 1766 1000 or in a travel agency.

Flights Vienna-Hong Kong-Vienna as of September 5, 2016

Route Flight Number Flight Days Departure Arrival
Vienna-Hong Kong OS067 Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays 5:50 p.m. 11:25 a.m.
(next day)
Hong Kong-Vienna OS068 Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays 12:55 p.m. 7:25 p.m.

Source: Austrian Airlines.

Boeing to manufacture 777X components with composite material made in U.A.E.

Courtesy: Boeing.

Courtesy: Boeing.

Boeing announced today that it will source carbon fiber pre-impregnated (prepreg) composite material for the Boeing 777X from a new joint venture formed by Mubadala Development Company and Solvay.

Boeing is the first customer for the Mubadala-Solvay joint venture, which will produce primary structure composite material for use in manufacturing the 777X empennage and floor beams. Mubadala and Solvay are planning for the joint venture to be operational by 2021 in a new facility built in Al Ain, U.A.E.

“After close collaboration with Mubadala and Solvay to expand the supply of aerospace composites, Boeing is pleased to be the first customer for their new joint venture in the U.A.E.,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “Our commitment to purchase this prepreg material for the 777X meets several important goals for Boeing, from further advancing aerospace industry development in the U.A.E. to expanding high-quality materials in our supply chain.”

“Boeing has been a key global partner of ours for years,” said Homaid Al Shimmari, CEO of Aerospace & Engineering Services, Mubadala. “Together with Solvay, we will further develop our capabilities in advanced composite materials production in order to expand the supply chain and create a materials ecosystem. The creation of a new manufacturing facility at the Nibras Al Ain Aerospace Park supports our efforts of delivering on Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030 by developing a regional Aerospace Hub for Abu Dhabi.”

First introduced in the 1970s, prepreg composites – a combination of high-strength carbon fiber and toughened epoxy resin – reduce weight and therefore improve fuel efficiency in aircraft. Boeing has been a leader in the use of aerospace composites. The 777 was the first commercial airplane to contain structurally significant composite parts. Composites account for 50 percent of structural weight of the 787 Dreamliner, and the 777X will have the world’s largest composite wing. Production of the 777X will begin in 2017, with its first delivery in 2020.

Since 2009, Boeing and Mubadala have signed several agreements to advance their collaboration in mutually beneficial ways, including in aerospace composites manufacturing. In 2013, Boeing and Mubadala announced a new Framework Strategic Agreement to increase the long-term role of Mubadala as a direct supplier to Boeing, including support as Mubadala developed prepreg manufacturing in the U.A.E.

Solvay, providing composite materials and adhesives in support of all Boeing Commercial Airplanes programs, has been a valued supplier to Boeing for over 30 years.

Source: Boeing.

Orangepride: KLM’s unique orange aircraft to promote the Netherlands

Courtesy: KLM / Menno Mennes.

Courtesy: KLM / Menno Mennes.

The introduction of the special aircraft was partly prompted by a social media post KLM published on King’s Day 2015. At the time, KLM’s followers were presented with a picture of an orange aircraft, along with the question: “Should we colour orange next year on King’s Day? #OrangeExperience”. 30,000 likes and 2,500 positive responses later, KLM rolls out its only orange aircraft today.

KLM will deploy the orange Boeing 777 on routine flights within the network and, whenever possible, during events that offer opportunities to promote the Netherlands. The aircraft will debut this summer and will be in operation on the Rio de Janeiro-Amsterdam route during the Olympic Games. On 22 August, KLM will use its orange Boeing to operate the “Medal Flight” that brings the Dutch Olympic heroes home.

Painting procedure
335 litres of paint were used to spray the aircraft orange fading into KLM’s distinctive blue. Applying the colours in multiple, thin layers, requires less paint and the sustainable, chromate-free paint can be easily washed off. The colours of the Dutch flag have been incorporated in the transition between orange and blue, completing the aircraft’s Dutch image. It took a team of 35 people four days to spray on the orange livery.

More about the KLM Boeing 777-300
The KLM version of the Boeing 777-300 has a completely revamped interior, with full-flat seats in World Business Class and more legroom in Economy Class, ensuring greater comfort for passengers. In addition, the inflight entertainment system has been fully renewed and adapted throughout the cabin. By the end of this year, KLM will have replaced more than 80% of its intercontinental aircraft cabin interiors.

Source: KLM.

United Airlines unveils a new way of travel with Polaris Business Class

United Airlines today unveiled its latest product, the Polaris Business Class, the most significant product transformation of the airline in more than a decade, featuring a re-imagined Business Class experience, with total comfort from the pre-flight to the end of the flight.

An exclusive product comes with a really transformative experience; the airline has chosen to outfit its wide body fleet with a custom designed – exclusive to United seat – instead of than selected options already in the market. This class was designed by Acumen Design Associates and PriestmanGoode and manufactured by Zodiac Seats United Kingdom. All seats in United Polaris will have access to the aisle, full flat bed with almost two meter-long (1.98 meters).

The class has an idea, which is crafted as individual, the suite is like pods where the customer personal suite will feature a “Do Not Disturb” sign, mood lighting, one-touch lumbar support, several storage areas, multiple surfaces for simultaneous working and dining, a 16-inch high-definition entertainment screen and, for seats in the center of the cabin, electronic privacy dividers. Complementing the new seats, United and PriestmanGoode have also conceived an all-new look for the United Polaris cabins.

Everything designed in Polaris cabin has the idea to rethinking the Business Class experience, the airline has performed more than twelve thousand hours of research and the sleep was one of the key priorities for international Business Class travelers. Polaris’ design and sleep-enhancing focus was inspired and informed by insights from hundreds of clients and employees, in-flight product simulations and more than one hundred product evaluations.

In order to provide a more pleasant and relaxing sleep, several other amenities were designed with United’s customers sleep in mind.

The company has worked with luxury specialty store Saks Fifth Avenue for custom designed bedding. Everything has been thought to provide the best sleep in the sky; bedding collection will feature plush duvets, lightweight day blankets and a large and small pillow for each United Polaris customer. Mattress cushions will be available upon request.

On flights longer than 12 hours, United Polaris pajamas will be available by requesting, however, slippers will be available on all flights. A gel-cooled pillow will also be available upon request. New amenity kits will feature ergonomically designed eye shades, calming lavender pillow mist and additional products from Soho House & Co.’s Cowshed Spa.

With the introduction of United Polaris, the airline intends to donate tens of thousands of pillows, blankets and other in-flight service items to Fisher House Foundation, which United and its employees have long supported.

A high elevated dining experience will be available on the flight. Upon boarding, the passenger will be welcomed with a pre-flight beverage of his/her choice and gourmet chocolate. In the air, customers will enjoy regionally influenced in-flights menus updated seasonally, which will be developed with The Trotter Project and its critically recognized chefs.

Be prepared for an upgraded wine experience, with the highest quality options curated exclusively by United’s Master Sommelier. On board service will also include made-to-order signature ice-cream sundaes, a dessert cart with a variety of petit dessert options, chocolate truffles and wine flights. On daytime flights longer than eight hours and on all flights longer than 12 hours, hot mid-flights snacks such as lobster macaroni and cheese will be available.

Lounges for United Polaris customers will also be opened in nine locations around the world – the only lounge of its kind offered by a United States airline to Business Class clients – that will feature custom designed chairs, private daybeds, spa-like showers and chef-inspired hot meals served in a boutique restaurant setting so passengers can refresh and dine before boarding their aircraft. Premium sparkling wines and spirits, refreshing snacks and bottled water will also be available.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport will be the place of the first United Polaris lounge, which will be opened on December 1st, 2016. Eight other airports will airports will receive these new luxury lounges in 2017, they are: Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Houston (IAH), New York (EWR), Washington Dulles (IAD), Tokyo (NRT), Hong Kong (HKG) and London Heathrow (LHR).

United Polaris will be available on all long-haul intercontinental flights on December 1, 2016, with the new in-flight food and beverage experience, new custom bedding from Saks Fifth Avenue, new amenity kits and the new United Polaris lounge in Chicago. United Polaris will first take flight in December on the Boeing 777-300ER (walk-up bar unit on board) and subsequently on Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner and Airbus A350-1000. The Boeing 767-300 and 777-200 will be retrofitted.

Named after the North Star, United Polaris is the shining new star of business class travel that flyers can turn to for a tranquil and restful journey.

Images: Courtesy of United Airlines.

Video: Courtesy of United Airlines.