Lufthansa: Welcome to the Airbus A350-900

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

On 19 December 2016, the Lufthansa Group will receive its first A350-900, which is the most modern long haul aircraft worldwide and which will be based at Lufthansa’s Munich Hub. The first regular commercial flight will be from Munich to Delhi on 10 February 2017. Tickets are available now. “We are looking forward to welcoming our first A350-900 shortly before Christmas. And already in February, our passengers will be able to enjoy a higher level of comfort on their flights to Delhi as we have now made further improvements to key components of the A350-900’s cabin interior. This includes, among other things, a newly designed self-service area in Business Class, new seats with ergonomically designed cushions in Economy Class, larger screens in all classes and improved broadband internet services”, says Thomas Winkelmann, CEO of the Munich Hub.

Once Lufthansa has taken ownership of the aircraft on 19 December, the A350-900 will be transferred to Munich during the week leading up to Christmas. Lufthansa Technik in Munich will then install the cabin interior including the new Premium Economy Class as well as other features so that the new flagship aircraft will be ready to be presented to the public at the beginning of February.

From February 2017 onwards, Lufthansa will station the first ten Airbus A350-900 aircrafts in Munich. The first flight destinations are Delhi and Boston. The aircraft will have space for 293 passengers – 48 in Business Class, 21 in Premium Economy and 224 in the regular Economy Class section. The A350-900 is the most modern and environmentally friendly long haul aircraft worldwide and uses 25 percent less kerosene and produces 25 percent fewer emissions. The A350-900’s noise “footprint” is up to 50 percent lower than that of comparable aircraft types.

Source: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Bombardier Global 7000 aircraft successfully completes first flight

Courtesy: Bombardier.

Courtesy: Bombardier.

Bombardier Business Aircraft today (November 04th, 2016) announced that its segment-defining Global 7000 aircraft program completed the successful maiden flight of its first flight test vehicle (FTV1). This first flight marks the start of a flight test program for the newest member of Bombardier’s flagship Global aircraft family, which is scheduled to enter into service in the second half of 2018.

The Global 7000 flight test vehicle took off from Bombardier’s facility in Toronto under the command of Captain Ed Grabman, assisted by his co-pilot, Jeff Karnes and Flight Test Engineer Jason Nickel under clear conditions at 10:25 a.m. EST.

Dedicated to testing basic system functionality and assessing the handling and flying qualities of the aircraft, today’s flight lasted approximately 2 hours and 27 minutes, during which all flight controls were exercised, and the systems and aircraft performed as expected. The flight crew conducted a gradual climb to 20,000 feet (6,096 m) and the aircraft reached a planned test speed of 240 knots.

“The first flight is the culmination of an incredible amount of knowledge and experience from our dedicated employees, partners and suppliers,” said David Coleal, President, Bombardier Business Aircraft. “This is a very proud moment for Bombardier and confirms the Global 7000 aircraft program development is on schedule. It is the industry’s most innovative and uniquely designed business jet and the only aircraft on the market to offer four living spaces for unparalleled comfort and flexibility, creating an unforgettable experience for our customers. The Global 7000 business jet’s impressive capabilities promise to establish a whole new category for large business jets,” he added.

“This is a great day for Bombardier and a very proud moment for the thousands of employees who made this significant milestone a reality,” said Michel Ouellette, Senior Vice President, Global 7000 and Global 8000 program, Bombardier Business Aircraft. “Hard work and dedication from the entire team, including our suppliers, went into this amazing milestone of the development program. With today’s first flight successfully completed, all teams remain focused on meeting the program’s development and certification schedule and the aircraft’s entry-into-service in the second half of 2018.”

“It was very exciting to see our Global 7000 aircraft take to the skies,” said François Caza, Vice President, Product Development and Chief Engineer, Bombardier Product Development Engineering. “Our world-class product development team, supported by our suppliers, followed our rigorous first flight readiness process, which included systems, structures and aerodynamics technical reviews, as well as the extensive use of test rigs and state-of-the-art simulation. The successful conclusion of this process clears the way for the start of our comprehensive flight test program leading to certification.”

Source: Bombardier.

Ten years of Lufthansa crews in national costume

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Ten years ago we heard it for the first time: Take-off for the Lufthansa crew in national costume. Since then, a total of 20 destinations have been flown to on four continents, with national costumes from three different fashion houses introduced to the passengers during this famous time of year for Bavaria. Two days before the beginning of the Munich Oktoberfest, Lufthansa passengers will once again get to experience Bavarian tradition up in the clouds. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary, two crews will take-off in Angermaier costumes. Eleven flight stewardesses and two flight stewards will look after guests today on flights from Munich to Toronto and from Munich to Washington. Further destinations will include Shanghai and Hong Kong on 20 September, Denver on 2 October and Boston on 3 October.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Over the past ten years, both the design of the costumes as well as the names of the designers have changed on a regular basis. However, the Lufthansa colours of yellow, blue and white have always stayed the same.

This year’s anniversary costume was designed and tailored by the Munich national costume specialists Angermaier, which is outfitting the crews to match the largest public festival in the world for the third time in a row. The Oktoberfest dirndl for the flight stewardesses is dark blue with a silver-grey pinafore. The men wear knee-length lederhosen with a dark blue waistcoat in the same fabric as the dirndls.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

As in previous years, national costumes will be worn on flights to selected European destinations from Munich. At the beginning and the end of the Munich Oktoberfest, a crew from Lufthansa CityLine will swap their uniform for the dirndl. Destinations this year are Belgrade, Birmingham, Cluj, Nice, Olbia and Sylt.

For Lufthansa employees at passenger services at Munich airport, it has long been tradition to welcome passengers in national costume during Oktoberfest. In addition to the Lufthansa uniform, the women wear the Lufthansa dirndl in yellow and blue and the men wear blue suits in the style of the traditional costume. The Service employees in the Lufthansa First Class Lounges wear costumes in black and gold.

Source: Deutsche Lufthansa.

British Airways offers free upgrades to First

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

British Airways’ ever popular free upgrade to First promotion is back.

Customers who book a Club World (business class) seat for travel between September 7 and December 11, 2016 will have the opportunity to upgrade to First one-way for free.

Customers who would like to take up the offer can do so by contacting their travel agent, or calling the British Airways contact centre on 0344 493 0787.

Sara Dunham, British Airways’ head of marketing, retail and direct, said: “We always get a great reaction from customers to our upgrade to First promotions. For no additional cost, travellers receive all the extra benefits of First, from the bespoke lounges to the comfortable suites on-board and personalised service. It’s a really nice way for us to recognise our customers and give them something back as a thank-you for their booking and their loyalty.”

Customers booking can expect to be whisked through fast-track before making their way to the First lounge or Concorde Room (outbound from Heathrow Terminal 5). Once on-board the sophisticated cabin they can settle in to their suite with its 6ft 6inch bed, personal blinds and wardrobe and  experience a personalised service, complete with an a la carte menu, fine wines and champagne.

Customers flying on one of British Airways’ new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners will experience the airline’s very latest First class, introduced in late 2015. The cabin is a very private eight-suite space, with four additional storage areas around each seat, including an ottoman, a personal suiter, a locker for small personal effects and a device stowage space complete with device powering capability. In-flight entertainment is shown on a 23-inch fixed screen and a smart ‘jog-dial’, manages the seat’s recline, headrest and lumbar inflate and a ‘global’ lighting control to set both ambient and reading lighting.

For more details on the upgrade promotion, customers can visit www.ba.com/upgrade.

For more details on First class, visit: http://www.ba.com/first.

Today the airline has also launched two of its biggest ever Avios and On Business promotions, enabling travellers to earn triple points, visit ba.com/onbusiness or ba.com/tripleavios for details.

Editor’s Note:

  • The offer is only available on published fares.
  • All routes with a First cabin are included, with the exception of Bermuda.
  • Terms and conditions apply. See ba.com/upgrade for full details.
  • Bookings must be made and flown between September 6 and December 11, 2016.

Source: British Airways.

Comlux becomes first to retrofit an ACJ319 with Sharklets

Courtesy: Airbus.

Courtesy: Airbus.

Comlux The Aviation Group has become the first to retrofit an Airbus corporate jet, an ACJ319, with Sharklets, which bring a fuel-saving of up to four per cent and a corresponding range improvement. The retrofit, carried out by TAP Maintenance and Engineering as part of the first such turnkey-project managed by Airbus Corporate Jets, is also the first on any version of the A319 airliner.

“Comlux has always been a leader in Airbus corporate jets, and our Sharklet retrofit highlights our innovative approach to offering customers one of the world’s most modern and handsome corporate jet fleets,” says Comlux Chairman and CEO Richard Gaona.

“Airbus has a reputation for innovative solutions and long-term relationships in the airliner world, so it’s great to have the opportunity to echo that with this one with Sharklets in corporate jets, with a leader such as Comlux,” says Airbus Corporate Jets Managing Director Benoit Defforge.

Sharklets act as a barrier to the flow of air around an aircraft’s wingtips, reducing drag to save fuel. They have been offered as an option on all A320 Family aircraft produced in recent years, and are standard fit on all A320neo (New Engine Option) Family aircraft. Sharklets can also be retrofitted to existing A320 Family aircraft, from Manufacturer’s Serial Number 1200 onward.

Airbus’ corporate jet Family is the most modern and comprehensive in the world, and regularly benefits from innovations that keep it that way. It benefits from services tailored to corporate jet customer needs, as well a worldwide support network supporting more than 500 customers and operators around the world.

More than 180 Airbus corporate jets are in service around the world, and they are in service with companies, individuals and governments, flying on every continent, including Antarctica.

Source: Airbus.

World’s first all-suite business class introduced in Delta One

Courtesy: Delta Air Lines.

Courtesy: Delta Air Lines.

Lay back, relax and enjoy the flight in the comfort, privacy and exclusivity of your own suite. Delta Air Lines is redefining international business class travel with the introduction of the Delta One suite, the first business class cabin to feature a sliding door at each suite.

Designed with an emphasis on exceptional customer comfort and privacy, the Delta One suite offers each customer a private space accessed by a sliding door with thoughtfully designed personal stowage areas, an advanced in-flight entertainment system and premium trim and finishes to create an unparalleled business class experience with a comfortable, residential feel.

The Delta One suite will debut on Delta’s first Airbus A350, due to enter service in fall 2017. Each aircraft will feature 32 suites.

In addition to full flat-bed seats with direct aisle access, which the airline introduced eight years ago, the Delta One suite features:

  • A full-height door at every suite
  • Sliding privacy dividers between center suites
  • In-suite, customizable ambient lighting
  • Dedicated stowage compartments for shoes, headphones and laptops
  • Contemporary design featuring premium trim and finishes
  • Memory foam-enhanced comfort cushion
  • An 18-inch, high resolution in-flight entertainment monitor, the largest among U.S. carriers
  • A universal power outlet and high-powered USB port at every seat

“Delta constantly listens to customers and responds with products that deliver what they want. After setting the standard with the introduction of full flat-bed seats with direct aisle access in 2008, Delta is again elevating the international business class experience,” said Tim Mapes, Delta’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “Added comfort and privacy are important to business travelers, and that drove the design of the all-new Delta One suite.”

Delta completed installation of full flat-bed seats with direct aisle access on all of its widebody aircraft operating long-haul international flights in 2014. Delta One service includes the features Delta customers have grown to expect, such as chef-curated meals, wine pairings by Delta’s Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson, Westin Heavenly In-Flight Bedding, noise-canceling headsets, TUMI amenity kits featuring Kiehl’s Since 1851 premium skincare, and in-flight loungewear on select flights.

Following the A350 debut, the Delta One suite will progressively roll out on Delta’s Boeing 777 fleet. Delta will be the first U.S. airline to take delivery of the A350, which will primarily serve routes between the U.S. and Asia.

Delta has made significant investments in its on-board product and the customer experience with orders for hundreds of new aircraft and a cabin modernization program that includes new seats, seatback entertainment systems, high capacity overhead bins, new lavatories, ambient lighting, access to Wi-Fi on nearly all flights and other enhancements.

Source: Delta Air Lines.

British Airways completes Boeing 747 cabin refresh

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

British Airways has completed the major makeover of 18 of the airline’s iconic Boeing 747s to give them the look and feel of their newest aircraft.

Each jumbo jet now features a refreshed interior and state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system – as well as extra seats for customers flying in Club World.

The first aircraft to be refreshed departed for New York, on the airline’s flagship transatlantic route, while the last one also goes back into commercial service tomorrow (August 4) as the BA117, flying customers from Heathrow to JFK airport.

Troy Warfield, British Airways’ director of customer experience, said: “We have recently taken delivery of our 12th A380 super jumbo and have now have 13 Dreamliners in our fleet, however the iconic Boeing 747s remain an important part of our fleet, that many of our customers love.

“We know customers who fly the revamped 747s really appreciate the improved interiors, with their mood lighting, better seating and new state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system, making their flight just fly by.

“Our engineers have made these amazing aircraft look and feel like new, with enhanced comfort, cutting edge technology and cool, clean design.”

Across all 18 aircraft the 11 month refit has involved:

  • 61 miles of wiring for the new Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment system
  • Enough new carpets to cover 34 tennis courts
  • Nearly six miles of new LED lights
  • 4,500 light fittings
  • Fabric changes to 4,950 seats
Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

The refit means the aircraft cabin interiors are similar in look and feel to the airline’s newest aircraft, with 16 additional Club World lie-flat seats.

New carpets, seat covers and mood lighting have been fitted throughout each aircraft to match the new colour pallet of the airline’s new A380 and 787s, including new seat foams and new style seat covers in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus to increase customer comfort.

All eighteen refreshed aircraft have also been fitted with Panasonic’s next generation eX3 entertainment system, which gives customers a choice of over 1,300 hours of entertainment including more than 130 movies and 400 TV programmes on larger, hi-resolution screens, capable of touch and swipe gestures, giving the system the familiar feel of using a tablet.

Lightweight in design, the system from Panasonic Avionics Corporation helps to reduce the amount of fuel used by the four-engined Boeing 747s.

As part of the upgrade, customers in World Traveller Plus now have access to a universal power socket at every seat, capable of accepting plugs from the UK, US and Europe. World Traveller customers also have their own personal USB socket to power phones and tablets.

The revamped jumbos now operate on selected flights to New York JFK, Chicago, Johannesburg, Dubai, Boston, Riyadh, Kuwait, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto and Washington DC.

British Airways has a fleet of 142 long-haul and 143 short-haul aircraft operating flights to almost 200 destinations around world.

Source: British Airways.