Virgin Atlantic selects the A350 XWB as its future flagship

Courtesy: Airbus.

Courtesy: Airbus.

UK based Virgin Atlantic Airways has selected the A350-1000, the largest member of the A350 Family, to become the latest aircraft in its fleet, operating from both London Heathrow and Gatwick airports.  The airline is purchasing eight A350-1000s for deliveries commencing in 2019, and four new aircraft on long term leases from ALC from 2020, including a lease “option” for a fifth aircraft.

The A350-1000 was selected after intense and detailed evaluation of the current and future alternatives. The airline will benefit from state-of-the-art technology and the latest cabin product innovations to satisfy the most exacting customer expectations. Airport operations and neighbouring communities will benefit from the use of an environmentally efficient aircraft with low pollution credentials and half the noise impact compared to rival aircraft.

The aircraft will be deployed initially at London Heathrow to strengthen the trans-Atlantic network on existing business routes, and subsequently at Gatwick airport on leisure routes to the Caribbean, where Virgin Atlantic will provide three classes of customer service in the A350s distinctive Airbus ‘Airspace’ cabin with roomy overhead bins and the latest concepts for ambience, comfort, service and design.

The United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron said, “I welcome the news of Virgin Atlantic’s investment. As well as being good news for passengers, it’s great news for jobs in the UK. The fantastic Airbus A350 is built in the UK, with Rolls-Royce engines and suppliers across the country. It’s an investment in the UK itself, and our world-beating aerospace industry.”

Craig Kreeger, CEO Virgin Atlantic said: “The size of this order demonstrates our absolute focus on investing in the future for our customers and our people, and confirms the strength of our business. The A350-1000 plays a pivotal role in our fleet programme, helping to create one of the youngest, cleanest, greenest fleets in the sky. We’re looking forward to introducing this aircraft to our customers, as its impressive economics, fuel performance, and quiet flying offer an irresistible proposition that makes long haul travel more enjoyable and better for the environment.”

“This agreement allows Virgin Atlantic to set the standard on its network by being amongst the first airlines into service with the A350-1000, with an Airspace by Airbus cabin, offering superior comfort including industry leading 18″ wide seats in‎ economy,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer. “These modern, efficient A350s will complement Virgin Atlantic’s existing fleet of 10 A330-300s and offer Virgin Atlantic crews the advantage of familiarity with Airbus operating procedures around the network”

The world’s latest generation airliner, the A350 XWB, is the newest member of Airbus’ modern, comfortable & efficient widebody product family with 18” wide seating in economy. The long-range A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fibre fuselage and wings for a lighter aircraft and quiet and low emission Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines that together deliver a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn. Together, these technologies translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with, lower environmental charges, and significantly reduced maintenance costs.

Source: Airbus.

Honeywell aprimora eficiência de combustível da Virgin Atlantic com sistema de gestão de voo

Cortesia: Honeywell.

Cortesia: Honeywell.

A Honeywell Aerospace anunciou que a Virgin Atlantic Airways será a primeira companhia aérea a instalar o novo serviço de gestão de voo que ajuda a aumentar a eficiência e a conservação do combustível. O sistema de gestão de voo da Honeywell (FMS) irá oferecer aos pilotos informações atualizadas e customizadas sobre o vento e a temperatura para otimizar o perfil vertical e aprimorar previsões de combustível. A Virgin Atlantic irá implementar o sistema no seu Airbus A330 e na frota A340, nos quais o tempo e a economia de combustível podem ser maximizados.

“As equipes da Virgin Atlantic e da Honeywell trabalharam juntas para desenvolver e introduzir esse serviço excelente”, afirma Phil Maher, vice-presidente executivo de operações da Virgin Atlantic. “Estou confiante de que os ganhos de eficiência de combustível e as melhorias operacionais que experimentamos terão um impacto positivo em nossas operações, clientes e profissionais”.

O novo serviço de datalink da Honeywell, FMS, vai de encontro à expertise da companhia no que diz respeito à conectividade e gestão de voo e oferece informações contínuas e atualizadas sobre o vento e a temperatura diretamente para a aeronave por meio do Data Center Global da Honeywell (GDC), um serviço de suporte inovador.

O acesso aos dados mais recentes sobre o vento e a temperatura são especialmente eficazes em voos longos, quando pequenas mudanças no vento e na temperatura podem ter um maior impacto sobre a otimização de seleção de altitude, cálculo da descida e controle de velocidade. Cada um desses elementos podem melhorar significativamente a eficiência do combustível.

“O custo do combustível é um dos maiores para os nossos clientes, e nós criamos o primeiro sistema de gestão de voo na década de 1970 em resposta à crise de combustíveis da indústria mundial para ajudar os clientes a pouparem dinheiro e combustível”, diz John Bolton, presidente de transporte aéreo e regional da Honeywell Aerospace. “Agora estamos evoluindo nossos sistemas de gestão de voo oferecendo um novo serviço que permite fornecer recomendações otimizadas à tripulação, o que pode dar aos pilotos da Virgin Atlantic as ferramentas que precisavam para tomar decisões durante o voo poupando tempo e diminuindo o consumo de combustível – dois itens que impactam diretamente no resultado final”.

Além de fazer a previsão meteorológica mais recente durante o voo, o serviço de datalink FMS da Honeywell também atualiza os planos iniciais de voo a pedido do FMS, otimizando a carga de trabalho e permitindo à tripulação se concentrar em outras tarefas importantes. Sem o FMS, os pilotos normalmente inserem as informações meteorológicas manualmente antes do voo.

Sobre o serviço de datalink FMS da Honeywell

A Honeywell tem sido líder na tecnologia FMS desde que foi criada na década de 1970. O FMS tradicional faz cálculos baseados em informações de previsão de vento e temperatura em determinados locais e altitudes durante a trajetória de voo. Para fazer essas previsões, os pilotos costumam inserir informações meteorológicas manualmente antes de decolarem. Entretanto, previsões meteorológicas ao longo do trajeto tornam-se obsoletas, especialmente em voos longos. O serviço de datalink FMS é o próximo passo para a evolução da gestão de voo.

Fonte: Honeywell.

Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Celebrate Start of New Services

DELTA AIR LINES LOGO

Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic this weekend are marking the launch of their new services between London-Heathrow and Los Angeles and London-Heathrow and Atlanta respectively.

The new routes are the first transfer of operations between the two airlines since the launch of their joint venture earlier this year and will offer more choice and flexibility for both airlines’ customers on these key routes across the Atlantic.

From Sunday, Delta will be flying nonstop from London to California for the first time with one of two daily Heathrow-Los Angeles flights previously operated by Virgin Atlantic. The route is Delta’s seventh nonstop destination between London and the United States. Virgin Atlantic, meanwhile, is operating its first ever flights into the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, having taken over one of Delta’s three daily services, and is now able to offer more than 100 additional international and domestic connections to its customers at Delta’s hub airport.

“We have a common goal to grow our joint venture network across the trans-Atlantic and provide customers with greater choice,” said Ed Bastian, President of Delta.  “With the Virgin Atlantic service to our hometown and Delta providing nonstop access between London and Los Angeles, this route harmonisation is a further demonstration of our strong partnership.”

Delta and Virgin Atlantic will operate their Los Angeles and Atlanta services at Heathrow Terminal 3. This co-location adds to the New York-JFK, Boston and Seattle joint venture flights, which already operate from Terminal 3. This provides convenient connections and a seamless customer experience for passengers of both airlines, including access to Virgin Atlantic’s award winning Clubhouse for all business class passengers. Both carriers also offer full flat-bed seats with direct aisle access on all business class flights between the U.K and U.S..

“Today marks another exciting step in our partnership with Delta Air Lines. It has been a busy first year for our joint venture and it is already delivering for our customers. From aligned schedules to reciprocal lounge access and the ability for frequent fliers to earn and burn across both carriers, we are showing how a partnership should be operated to benefit passengers,” said Craig Kreeger, Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic. “Our new flights to Atlanta will give Virgin Atlantic’s customers unprecedented access to 160 points throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean and we look forward to adding a second daily service from March 2015 to improve connection convenience even more.”

Virgin Atlantic expects to fly around 160,000 passengers annually to Atlanta and beyond on its new service providing convenient connections to Delta flights across the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean.  Virgin Atlantic has recently announced plans to add a second daily seasonal flight to Atlanta in summer 2015 as part of a package of investment into North American routes that will see the total number of peak day flights operated by the joint venture at 37 from March.

Delta is one of the largest airlines in California and from Los Angeles customers can transfer onto more than 40 destinations within the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America. Delta’s additional flight complements its existing West Coast route between London Heathrow and Seattle, which launched in March this year.

Since the start of the Delta and Virgin Atlantic trans-Atlantic joint venture, 3.5 million passengers have experienced the benefits of the partnership. The two airlines also have a codeshare agreement in place, maximizing the customer appeal of the joint schedule.  The partnership enables the airlines to offer more flight choices for travellers on both sides of the Atlantic by improving their travel options.

Source: Delta Air Lines.

Boeing, Virgin Atlantic Airways Celebrate Delivery of Airline’s First 787-9 Dreamliner

Courtesy: Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Courtesy: Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Boeing and Virgin Atlantic Airways are celebrating the delivery of the airline’s first 787-9 Dreamliner. The airline is the first European airline to take delivery of the 787-9 and plans to operate the airplane initially on its London Heathrow to Boston route.

Virgin Atlantic’s first 787-9 touched down at London’s Gatwick Airport today following a more than 7,400 kilometer (4,000 nautical mile) nonstop flight from Paine Field in Everett, Wash. The airplane, named ‘Birthday Girl’ in reference to the UK carrier’s 30th anniversary, is the first of 16 787-9s Virgin Atlantic has ordered from Boeing.

“The first 787-9 in Europe will be a flagship for Virgin Atlantic’s fleet, providing greatly improved efficiencies across its routes,” said Todd Nelp, vice president of European Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The airplane, with its unique onboard features, will provide an unrivaled passenger experience, cementing Virgin Atlantic’s reputation as a true innovator in air travel.”

The 787-9 complements and extends the 787 family. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters) over the 787-8, the 787-9 will fly up to 40 more passengers an additional 830 kilometers (450 nautical miles) with the same exceptional environmental performance – 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than the airplanes they replace.

The airplane leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, offering passenger-pleasing features such as large windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.

Based out of London’s Gatwick and Heathrow Airports, as well as Manchester and Glasgow Airports, Virgin Atlantic Airways operates a fleet of approximately 40 airplanes. Along with its first 787-9, the British operator also has a Boeing fleet of 12 747-400s operating on routes across North America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.

To date, nearly 60 customers from around the world have ordered more than 1,000 Dreamliners, approximately 40 percent of which are 787-9s.

Source: Boeing.