Singapore Airlines launches trans-Pacific biofuel flights with the A350 XWB

Courtesy: Airbus.

Singapore Airlines has begun a series of biofuel flights using A350-900 aircraft on non-stop trans-Pacific flights between Singapore and San Francisco.

The project is being undertaken by Singapore Airlines in conjunction with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and air navigation service providers, using enhanced flight operations and Air Traffic Management (ATM) practices along the flight route.

The programme will demonstrate the environmental and economic benefits that can be achieved through a combination of the latest fuel-efficient aircraft, alternative fuels and optimised flight operations to reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions.

The A350s taking part in the programme are being powered by a combination of HEFA (hydro-processed esters and fatty acids) – a sustainable biofuel produced from used cooking oils – and conventional jet fuel.

Altogether, Singapore Airlines will undertake 12 flights using this biofuel mix during the next three months. The first of the “Green Package” flights occurred on 1 May, linking San Francisco International Airport with Singapore Changi Airport.

“We are embarking on this initiative to help promote the use of sustainable biofuel in an operationally and commercially viable manner,” explained Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong. “This is in line with our long-term commitment to further reduce carbon emissions while improving the efficiency of our operations.”

Singapore Airlines has ordered a total of 67 A350 XWB aircraft and 12 have been delivered to the carrier as of end-March 2017. Next year it will become the launch operator of the A350-900 ULR, which will be able to fly non-stop on the world’s very longest flights – including from Singapore to New York.

Source: Airbus.

Austrian Airlines is the most punctual airline worldwide

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines was the world’s most punctual airline in March 2017. This can be seen in the latest statistics from flightstats.com for global airlines. With an arrival on-time rate of 92.72%, Austrian Airlines was ahead of Spanish Iberia (90.74%) and Singapore Airlines (89.19%). Punctuality is measured in the airline industry with <15 minutes. This means that all flights within the 15-minute time window are considered as punctual.

Alitalia (88.73%) was in fourth place, while Lufthansa ranked fifth (87.80%). The other placements were: Polish LOT (87.54%), Japanese JAL (87.17%), Japanese ANA (86.72%), Scandinavian SAS (86.22% ) and Arabian Etihad Airways (85.83%) on place ten.

Source: Austrian Airlines.

 

Austrian Airlines – From Now On: Internet on short and medium-haul flights

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines launches Internet on board in real time operation. Two aircraft are “online” effective immediately, and starting tomorrow another 10 jets will be added. All 31 Airbus aircraft of the Austrian Airlines fleet have already been technically converted to enable Internet use, and will be successively “activated” in the current month of May 2017. Accordingly, passengers will also be able to use the Internet on short-haul and medium-haul flights as they fly above the clouds, and choose one of three different Internet rates: FlyNet Message for three euros, FlyNet Surf for seven euros and FlyNet Stream for twelve euros for each leg of the journey. FlyNet Message only allows for use of messaging services such as e-mail, WhatsApp or iMessage, whereas passengers can also surf on the Internet with the FlyNet Surf option. Streaming is possible with the FlyNet Stream tariff. All three packages can be billed via credit card or the payment service PayPal.

“We have thoroughly tested the new technology in recent months on five Airbus jets and 3,000 flights. Now I am pleased to be able to offer Internet above the clouds”, says Austrian Airlines CCO Andreas Otto.

The offering of Austrian Airlines and its technology partner Inmarsat is based on the most advanced broadband satellite technology Ka band). This ensures reliable Internet coverage on short-haul and medium-haul flights on the basis of the Inmarsat network Global Xpress (GX). Deutsche Telekom serves as the Internet service provider and partner of Inmarsat.

Digital entertainment program as of the summer of 2017

At present Austrian Airlines is working on a new, digital entertainment program. This is expected to come on stream and be made available to passengers via the WLAN network starting in the summer of 2017. This means that passengers with a FlyNet Surf or FlyNet Stream package will be able to use their mobile devices to access an entertainment program consisting of films and series. In line with passenger requests, it is still not allowed to make telephone calls on board Austrian Airlines flights.

Source: Austrian Airlines.

Asiana Airlines takes delivery of its first A350 XWB

Courtesy: Airbus.

Asiana Airlines of South Korea has taken delivery of its first A350-900, becoming the 12th airline to operate the world’s newest and most efficient twin engine widebody airliner.

Asiana’s A350-900 is configured with a three class layout with a total of 311 seats, comprising 28 in Business Smartium, convertible to fully flat beds, 36 in Economy Smartium and 247 in the main cabin.

Altogether Asiana has ordered 30 A350s and will initially operate the aircraft on flights within Asia. From the third quarter of 2017, the carrier will deploy the aircraft on premier long haul routes to Europe and the US, beginning with services from Seoul to London and San Francisco.

The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fiber fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs. The spaciousness, quietness, beautiful interior and mood lighting in the cabin contribute to superior levels of comfort and well-being, setting new standards in terms of flight experience for all passengers.

To date, Airbus has recorded a total of 821 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 44 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

Source: Airbus.

Third Lufthansa A350-900 has landed in Munich

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Lufthansa’s A350-900 fleet in Munich is growing once again – the third A350-900 landed yesterday (April 02th, 2017) at its new home base. Captains Andreas Jasper and Pol Uffer transferred the aircraft from the Airbus works in Toulouse to Munich. With the addition of this third member to the fleet, Lufthansa will also be adding Mumbai to the A350-900 flight schedule. The first flight to the Indian metropolis is planned for 15 April.

At Airbus, the new aircraft carried the production serial number MSN087 and will now fly for Lufthansa under the international registration number D-AIXC. The A350-900 is currently the world’s most advanced and most environmentally-friendly long-haul aircraft. It uses 25 percent less kerosene, produces 25 percent fewer emissions and is significantly quieter on take-off than comparable types of aircraft. In February the first of fifteen aircraft arrived in Munich to be stationed there. The A350-900 has capacity to carry 293 passengers – 48 passengers in Business Class, 21 in Premium Economy Class and 224 in Economy Class.

Source: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Austrian Airlines adorns Boeing 777 jet with the Blue Danube Waltz

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines – Felipe Kolm.

The Blue Danube Waltz is not only on board Austrian Airlines flights but now also on the exterior of an aircraft. In time to commemorate the launch of flight service to Los Angeles, Austrian Airlines adorned the Boeing 777 with the name “Spirit of Austria” with a 45-meter long line stave of the Blue Danube Waltz. One can see the prelude to the piece of music composed by Johann Strauss in the 19th century, which, strictly speaking, is called “On the beautiful blue Danube”. This Waltz celebrates it´s 150th anniversary this year. On the wide body aircraft is also shown the slogan “mySound of Austria” and a flight attendant, who spreads the Waltz into the world.

72 percent of passengers want the Blue Danube Waltz

From an international perspective, the Blue Danube Waltz stands for Austria, its culture and its long musical tradition. It is closely linked to Vienna and its culture of balls, and it is regularly played in Austria at the turn of the year. This piece of music has been heard during boarding and de-boarding of Austrian Airlines flights for years. In the meantime, it is closely associated with the red-white-red national carrier, and an integral part of the Austrian Airlines brand. An online survey carried out in the spring of 2016 confirmed that the Blue Danube Waltz has become an indispensable aspect of flying with Austrian Airlines: 72 percent of the 2,500 customers clearly voted for the airline continuing to play the Blue Danube Waltz on board Austrian Airlines flights.

Special sticker over the entire aircraft fuselage

Courtesy: Austrian Airlines – Felipe Kolm.

The Boeing 777-200 with the registration code OE-LPD was adorned with the Blue Danube Waltz by means of a special sticker. Although it sounds quite easy, the undertaking involved a major effort. The sticker consists of 38 individual pieces and extends over a net area of 52 m². The Boeing 777-200 is 63.7 meters long. The stave with the notes is about 45 meters long and extends almost over the entire fuselage of the long-haul jet. Gluing the sticker onto the jet took three entire days.

Boeing 777 – ambassador for Austria 

Austrian Airlines currently operates a total of five Boeing 777-200 aircraft in its fleet. The Boeing 777 is the largest long-haul aircraft in the Austrian Airlines fleet, with room for up to 312 passengers. The jet with the Blue Danube Waltz on its fuselage will serve as an ambassador for Austria in the world. The Boeing 777-200 has a range of up to 11,500 km. More specifically, this aircraft will be deployed in the summer for flights to Bangkok, Chicago, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Bejing and Shanghai, and during the winter season also on flights to Mauritius and New York.

Source: Austrian Airlines.

ANA unveils special livery for its new A380 fleet

Courtesy: Airbus.

On March 6, All Nippon Airways (ANA) revealed a special livery for the A380. The livery was selected from over 2,000 submissions received in an open competition organised by the carrier. The winning design will be painted on the airline’s first new A380, which will be delivered early in 2019. ANA will operate the aircraft on its most popular leisure route, from Tokyo to Honolulu.

The winning entry is a colorful design featuring the Hawaiian green sea turtle – a symbol of good luck and prosperity in Hawaii. 

Flights between Japan and Hawaii represent a highly competitive market. Around 1.5 million Japanese travel to Hawaii annually, with airlines enjoying consistently high load factors. ANA will seek to increase significantly its share of this lucrative market with the introduction of the popular A380.

ANA parent company ANA Holdings placed its order for three A380s in January 2016 and will become the first Japanese airline to operate the type, transporting more passengers, more efficiently and in greater comfort – all at lower cost. 

ANA is planning a number of future activities in Hawaii to protect the green sea turtle, which is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as an endangered species.

The green sea turtle is known as the “Honu” in Hawaii and ANA will adopt the name “Flying Honu” for its A380 fleet.

Designed for the challenges of the 21st century aviation industry, the A380’s unique size allows airlines to maximize their revenue potential while offering unrivalled levels of passenger comfort.

Source: Airbus.