Lufthansa brings German Olympic team back to Germany from Rio de Janeiro

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

The German Olympic team has returned home, landing on time at 11.10 a.m. local time at Frankfurt Airport with flight number LH 511. The Boeing 747-8 with the registration D-ABYK was specially branded in a custom “Olympia Siegerflieger“ design. Around 250 athletes were on board, amongst them gold medal winners in beach volleyball Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst, double-gold canoeist Sebastian Brendel, the gymnasts who won bronze with Sophie Scheder and many others.

After landing at Frankfurt Airport and taking a photo of their arrival in front of the plane, the German athletes went with a police escort directly to Frankfurt downtown to Römer Square, where they are welcomed by Federal President Joachim Gauck.

More than 50 international Olympic delegations use the services offered by the Lufthansa Group. The official Swiss Olympic delegation is also travelling back today on SWISS flight LX 93 from Rio de Janeiro to Switzerland. The Boeing 777-300ER will be ceremoniously received at Zurich airport with a shower of water. Among the passengers the gold medallists in the lightweight men’s four rowing and the mountain biker Nico Schurter are on board.

Source: Deutsche Lufthansa.

British Airways: Team GB arrive home “Victorious”

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

Team GB arrived home from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on British Airways flight “BA2016” at 9.55am this morning (Tuesday August 23), on a gold-nosed aircraft appropriately named “victoRIOus” by the public.

Gold medallists Nicola Adams and Max Whitlock were the first to walk off the aircraft to a warm reception at Heathrow Terminal 5, as Captain Steve Hawkins waved a union flag out of the cockpit window in time-honoured tradition.

victoRIOus’ is carrying a haul of 92 medals on board which weigh a total of 7.2 stone (46kg) , alongside 320 athletes and support staff. The special charter flight also featured the hashtag ‘#greattobeBAck’ on its livery, which the fans and athletes have been using.

Alex Cruz, Chairman and CEO of British Airways, said: “Today is a very special moment in British sporting history and for the airline too. We’re all very proud of Team GB, and it has been a pleasure to serve the athletes once again as the official airline supplier.”

Extra water, champagne, snacks and treats were loaded on the 11 hour 15 minute flight from Rio de Janeiro. Passengers were treated to a three-course menu on board, as well as the home comfort of a full English breakfast and English tea before landing.

Highlights from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games were shown on board, alongside sporting documentaries ‘Sporting Greats; Sir Steve Redgrave’ and ‘Back on Board: Greg Louganis’, as well as classic sports film ‘Chariots of Fire’.

“victoRIOus” will take flight once again to bring back ParalympicsGB from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, when they arrive home on Tuesday September 20.

Source: British Airways.

Lufthansa celebrates 60 years of flying to Rio de Janeiro

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

On 15 August, at the start of the second week of the Olympic Games, Lufthansa celebrates its 60th anniversary of scheduled service to Brazil. In 1956, a Lockheed Super Star with 48 first-class seats flew from Hamburg to Rio de Janeiro in a total 26 hours with three stopovers. In the meantime, the flight time with a Boeing 747-8 has more than halved with now around eleven hours.

Lufthansa is using the occasion of this anniversary to deepen its commitment to the city and its inhabitants and to fulfil its responsibility as an internationally active aviation group. As a sign of its social corporate responsibility, employees of the Lufthansa Group are renovating the non-profit Centro Comunitário Paulo da Portela (CCCP) vocational training centre in Rio de Janeiro. The centre in Oswaldo Cruz has been sponsored by Help Alliance, Lufthansa’s non-profit employee organisation, since 2011. The renovation work is being supported by Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann, the reigning Olympic champions in beach volleyball. In the CCCP, young people will receive a vocational education and will be prepared, among other things, for university entrance examinations.

Since its foundation by Lufthansa employees in 1999, Help Alliance has been committed to its work in Central and Latin America. Today, the association supports around 40 aid initiatives internationally. For each project, employees of the Lufthansa Group voluntarily take responsibility in cooperation with local partners who have many years of experience in development co-operation. The aid initiatives are funded solely by donations.

Source: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Galeão-Tom Jobim International Airport implements Rockwell Collins airport operations solutions

Courtesy: RIOgaleão.

Courtesy: RIOgaleão.

Athletes, officials and fans traveling to the 2016 Summer Games via Rio de Janeiro’s main airport, Galeão-Tom Jobim International Airport, will enjoy an improved travel experience when they arrive.  The airport recently implemented a number of Rockwell Collins airport operational solutions to better handle the influx of passengers and aircraft arriving for the 2016 games.

 “The Galeão Airport is the gateway to our country, and it’s important that we provide the best possible experience for travelers attending one of the world’s premier sporting events,” said Herlichy Bastos, operations director at RIOgaleão. “The ARINC airport systems allow us to more effectively manage airline ground activities—from the moment a plane lands on the runway until it takes off again. Optimizing our airport infrastructure is enabling us to handle more planes and manage more airlines more effectively.”

The Rockwell Collins solutions are part of a $2 billion program focused on renovating and expanding the airport prior to the start of the games.  The airport has implemented several key systems to improve airport operations, alleviating aircraft congestion at gates and improving on-time departure and arrival rates. Other key improvements include a new digital signage system that keeps passengers informed and moving through the airport.

“Beyond the games, RIOgaleão has ambitious growth plans, with a goal of operating at a capacity of 37.5 million passengers per year—a significant increase from its current capacity,” said Augusto de Macedo Santos, head of sales, Latin America. “Brazil is a rapidly growing market and this marks yet another key milestone in our commitment to invest and grow our business in the country.”

Rockwell Collins’ airport systems management organization, ARINC Managed Services, is responsible for the on-site maintenance and support of all the systems.

ARINC airport solutions being deployed at RIOgaleão include:

  • ARINC AirDB™
  • ARINC AirVue™
  • ARINC AirPlan
  • ARINC VeriPax™
  • ARINC AviNet® Airport

Source: Rockwell Collins.

Air BP ramps up for Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics

Courtesy: Air BP.

Courtesy: Air BP.

Air BP, the international aviation fuel products and service supplier, is ramping up its commercial and general aviation fuel operations ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games (5th-21st August) and Paralympic Games (7-18th September) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To bolster an already robust Brazilian fuel service, the company is introducing a number of Games specific offers and services. Air BP will also allocate extra operational resources to meet the anticipated heightened demand during the Games period.

Recognising the importance of convenient and efficient turnarounds, the Air BP Fast Track Fuel Service Guarantee will be re-introduced for general aviation (GA) traffic at Rio de Janeiro International Airport (GIG/SBGL) and Cabo Frio International Airport (CFB/SBCB). The Fast-Track offering guarantees refuellers can attend to a client’s aircraft within twenty minutes of landing, providing the arrival airport is given three hours’ notice.  This was first offered during the World Cup of 2014 and was extremely successful with the GA community appreciating the quick and efficient refuelling option.

Alternatively, for those that can plan futher ahead, GA flight crew can book a pre-determined fuelling time that suits the pilots’ and passengers’ flight schedule. To support owners, operators and flight departments, Air BP will offer a discounted fuel price throughout the Games period to encourage GA traffic to utilise the less busy alternative Rio airport of Cabo Frio. Equally, Sterling Card customers can maximise the benefits of using their card for fuel purchases at both the GIG and CFB locations.

At GIG, commercial aviation customers will also benefit from IATA Level III panel operations which offer the highest level of fuel delivery services available from Air BP representatives as well as ensure convenience and timesaving when refuelling.

Ricardo Paganini, Air BP Brazil Director, comments: “We are excited to play our part during the Games and look forward to welcoming all our general and commercial aviation customers to our Brazilian locations. With the additional resources provided by a  strenghtened, expanded operations team in Rio we can cater for all our customers’ fuelling needs, in addition to maintaining the standards expected of Air BP for all our customers. We will be drawing upon our operational know-how to ensure a seamless service for this major international event. With that in mind, we do urge customers to act now and pre-advise us if they plan to visit.”

With the combination of a dedicated general aviation operation at Air BP’s GIG and CFB locations, the high service levels for commercial aviation,  the scaled up operational team and the additional services, Air BP is aiming to provide a seamless service to arriving and departing aircraft at what are anticipated to be the busiest airports during the Games.

Source: Air BP.

Edelweiss promotes conference with members of the press in Rio de Janeiro

edelweiss-press-conference-rio-de-janeiro-copyrighted-to-aviation-news-net-do-not-use-for-any-purpose

This afternoon, Edelweiss, a sister-company of SWISS promoted a meeting with members of the press at Windsor Hotel in Copacabana to mark the initial flights of the airline to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The company started its operation to the marvelous city last Friday. Initially the airline will operate flights between Zurich and Rio de Janeiro on Mondays and Fridays.

There were present executives of Edelweiss, SWISS, Lufthansa, RIOgaleão and Switzerland Tourism, which presented couple of key facts through a slide show presentation. It was also highlighted key facts of the flights from Zurich to Brazil (Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo).

Tom Maes the recently nominated Senior Sales Director for South America of the Lufthansa Group – which took possession of the new cargo this month – highlighted a series of important facts regarding the operations of the group’s airlines to Brazil. He recognized the strong relation between the airlines and the commitment of the group with the country. It has also been stated the power of growth that the group has in Brazil, as the airlines can offer several types of services and can attend specific demands of the most variable customers. He also stated saying that Edelweiss’ flights will complement the Lufthansa Group’s flight offer to the region.

Bernd Bauer, CEO of Edelweiss started its speech with an explanation of Edelweiss flower, the national flower of Switzerland that gave the name of the airline – as we mentioned this history in the Curiosity part of our article. He stated that the new Airbus A330-343 of Edelweiss has been named “Chäserrugg”, the region in Switzerland that grown this flower. Mr. Bauer complemented its speech saying that this flower also transports their origin, commitment and value. Bernd highlighted the cities, lakes and the beautiful nature of its country, showing couple of pictures of it. The airline’s CEO reiterated that national ingredients and recipes of Switzerland that are served on board. Finalizing its speech, he said the airline will take delivery of it first Airbus A340-313X from SWISS on the end of this year. Just to note: The first destinations of the airline’s first A340 will be Phuket, in Thailand and Cape Town, in South Africa.

Valquiria Mendes, Senior Manager of SWISS for South America started saying that on the year of 2009 to 2011 the route from Zurich to Sao Paulo was one of the most profitable SWISS routes, proving the capacity that the airline has. She added saying that SWISS’ flight from Zurich to Sao Paulo will make a stop in Rio de Janeiro on August 1st, 2016 to bring and on August 22th, 2016 to pick up the athletes and its equipment of the Summer Olympics 2016. She also stated saying Edelweiss flights will be operated under codeshare agreement with SWISS and they aren’t competitors, their flights complements each other and continue to build a strong relationship. Finalizing its speech, the executive highlighted the renew plan of SWISS, which consists in renew its long-haul flagship from the Airbus A340 to the Boeing 777-300ER – this last airplane was designed in accordance with the demand of the passengers, the company has two Boeing 777-300ER on its fleet now and it is waiting more four aircraft up to July 2016.

Adrien Genier, Marketing Manager of Switzerland Tourism highlighted key facts of the tourism between these two countries. Edelweiss bring more than one new route; it brings the Swiss DNA of great service with the genuine Swiss cordially. The airline will be a partner during the Summer Olympics 2016, a partner which comes supporting the promotion actions of the Switzerland Tourism in Rio de Janeiro. The executive also highlighted key facts of Switzerland, like the Alps, big lakes and the gastronomy. Mr. Genier presented couple features of Zurich Kloten Airport, which has train to all the parts of Switzerland inside the airport and has cars agencies one-minute walking from the check-in area. He finalized its speech saying that Switzerland’ inhabitants are the happiest people in the world.

Luiz Rocha, President of RIOgaleão, made this speech based in a common thing between Edelweiss and the airport; both of them want to offer the best experience for the passenger. The executive also stated that the airport’s first part of investment is being concluded.

Editor’s Note:

This article is part of our coverage about Edelweiss inaugural flight to Rio de Janeiro.

Olá Rio: Edelweiss officially lands in Rio de Janeiro

Red nose, the distinct “Switzerland” word on the fuselage and the famous oversized flower on the tail are the most eye-catching details, as any aviation aficionado knows, it is an Edelweiss’ aircraft. Last Friday (22), the airline has started the service from Zurich to Rio de Janeiro, the inaugural flight from Kloten Airport took off at 12:48 PM CEST and landed at 07:14 PM BRT at Galeão Airport. Initially, the company will operate this route twice a week – Mondays and Fridays – on a year-round basis. However, the airline has stated that the plans extend beyond Olympic games in 2016. Depending of the success of the route, frequency increases might be considered in the future. Edelweiss’ flights are complemented by the already existing flights of Lufthansa Group to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

Edelweiss is a sister company of Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) and in the same way the company flights will complement SWISS’ flights, which are operated daily from Zurich to Sao Paulo. The aircraft utilized on this route to the marvelous city is an Airbus A330-343, the second biggest member of A330 Family which now counts with the A330neo variants in development.

Everybody knows that the Airbus A330 is one of the most cost-efficient aircraft in its class, the excellent short-field performance and long-range capabilities enable the A330 to be efficiently utilized both on established routes and expanding markets, like Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil and Calgary, in Canada. In numbers, the A330s fly to over 400 destinations around the world each week, and orders for this wide body twin-engine aircraft family have surpassed the 1,600 mark, from over 100 operators.

Short history of Edelweiss:

Edelweiss was founded on 19 October 1995 in Bassersdorf, Switzerland, with just one airplane, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83. The fleet was expanding and renewed. In 1998, new Airbus A320 were introduced to replace the MD-83s, and in 1999 the airline long-haul flights started with an Airbus A330-200.

From 2001 to 2008, Edelweiss received seven golden Travelstar Award for its excellent achievements. Up to November 2008, the airline was wholly owned by Kuoni Travel Ltd and had 190 employees, when the operating rights were sold to SWISS, in exchange for sale rights of hotel capacities via the SWISS sales network. When Edelweiss was bought by SWISS, Edelweiss became a subsidiary of Europe’s largest airline group, the Lufthansa Group which bought SWISS in 2005.

As of March 2011, Edelweiss added to its fleet the larger Airbus A330-300, with an order having been placed on April 05th, 2010. On last July, it was announced that Edelweiss will receive three Airbus A340-313X from SWISS. The first airplane will join Edelweiss’ fleet in the 4th quarter of 2016 and will operate flight from Zurich to Cape Town, in South Africa and Phuket, in Thailand.

Last November, the airline introduced its new revised livery on one of its Airbus A320-200, the new livery is gradually being applied to the entire fleet. There is an A330-300 with the new livery, tail number is HB-JHR. Edelweiss stated that all aircraft will subsequently be painted with new livery. According to current planning the entire fleet will be painted in the new livery until Summer 2017.

Business Class:

  • Courtesy: Edelweiss

Airline’s premium product is well known as one of the most comfort Business Class on the aviation industry. In the A330-300 there are 27 full lie-flat seats with two seat configurations, 1-2-1 and 2-2-1.

Among with all the services offered on Business Class by all the airlines, Edelweiss highlight herself by welcoming the client and presenting them that sleep and dream at 30.000 feet will not be a problem, with the anatomical Business Class seat convert in a two-meter-long bed in a short time at all. Pillow, blanket and amenity kit are also provided for a complete rest.

A wide range of on board entertainment is offered on a 16” HD touch screen monitor and the passenger will not have their gadget out of battery due to a mains socket to charge it up.

To finalize all this comfort, it is worth to highlight again the excellent on board service provided by the crew of the flight. Everything is guaranteed to make sure the client will arrive refreshed and rested in their final destination.

Regarding the lounges which Business Class passengers are eligible to use, in Zurich the lounge utilized is the SWISS Business Lounge and in Rio de Janeiro the lounge is Smiles VIP room.

Economy MAX:

  • Courtesy: Edelweiss

This class can accommodate up to 56 passengers in a 2-4-2 seat configuration.

Pay for a price closer to an Economy fare but fly with the maximum comfort that Economy can provide, this is the idea, make economy flight pleasanter.  Seat back and enjoy 15 centimeters more legroom between the seats, and up to five centimeters more recline angle than Economy Class, here is the “magic”, just close your eyes and you will comfortably be able to relax peacefully. The seat also counts with a 9” HD touch screen monitor.

Economy Class

  • Courtesy: Edelweiss

Accommodating up to 232 clients in a 2-4-2 seat configuration and 2-3-2 on the back part of the fuselage, a huge part of the people think that paying less for a ticket will have almost any benefit on board, but this idea doesn’t work with this airline. The company has everything that makes sense for a relaxed journey, such as: adjustable headrest, patented anti-thrombosis pad that supports the circulation in passengers’ leg. Everything is so comfortable that the journey will be pleasant and with a huge entertainment system on a 9” HD touch screen monitor, the flight will be valuable.

Entertainment System:

Courtesy: Edelweiss.

Courtesy: Edelweiss.

The flight isn’t passing? No problem, in front of you there is a HD touch screen with more than 180 movies and TV programs for you choose freely. But this isn’t all, if the passenger wants to sink in the world of music, there are 270 CDs and playlists to choose from. There are also games to play, they can offer for the client Sudoku or multi-player 3D games. And in case if the passenger wants to read a little bit, there is the “Sunflyer”, the on board magazine of the company. International and national newspapers and magazines are offered but they are subject to availability. All the entertainment selection is synchronized with their sister airline, SWISS.

Engines:

edelweiss-inagugural-flight-to-rio-de-janeiro-brazil-airbus-a330-300-copyrighted-to-aviation-news-net-do-not-use-for-any-purpose.jpg (1)

Edelweiss’ Airbus A330-313X is powered by two Trent 700 engines, with a 2.47-meter fan diameter, this engine delivers the power requirements for all A330 and particularly for the higher weight aircraft operation in harsh environments. The engine can generate a thrust of 72.000 lb and provides the best take-off performance and revenue-earning for its operators. It has been designed for growth capability of the A330 and incorporates materials capable of the pressures and temperatures required for 75.000 lb.

A warm welcome

When the passengers were disembarking at Terminal 2, the airline surprised everyone with Brazilian popular music (MPB) and a warm welcome. Every passenger received a typical Carnival necklace.

Airbus A330-300 technical specification:

Cabin width 5.28 m (17 ft 4 in)
Cruise speed Mach 0.82 (871 km/h or 470 kn)
Engines (×2) Rolls-Royce Trent 700
Fuselage height 5.64 m (18 ft 6 in)
Fuselage width 5.64 m (18 ft 6 in)
Length 63.69 m (208 ft 11 in)
Maximum fuel capacity 97,530 L (25,800 US gal)
Maximum landing weight 187,000 kg (412,000 lb)
Maximum range (fully loaded) 11,750 km (7,300 mi; 6,350 nmi)
Maximum service ceiling 13,000 m (42,651 ft)
Maximum takeoff weight 242,000 kg (534,000 lb)
Service ceiling 12,527 m (41,100 ft)
Tail height 16.83 m (55 ft 3 in)
Wing area 361.6 m2 (3,890 sq ft)
Wingspan 60.3 m (197 ft 10 in)

Curiosity:

edelweiss-inagugural-flight-to-rio-de-janeiro-brazil-airbus-a330-300-copyrighted-to-aviation-news-net-do-not-use-for-any-purpose.jpg (2)

Probably most of the people don’t know why they painted a white flower on its aircraft but this flower is named Edelweiss which is referred in biology for a plant with rugged beauty and purity which grows on high altitudes like in the Alps and Carpathians. This flower is a national symbol especially of Austria, Bulgaria, Romania and Switzerland. Edelweiss means in German edel “noble” and weiss “white”, literally like a “noble white”. This is why they have couple of flowers painted through their aircraft. As we can see, the company’s name is also derivate from the flower.