Archive for June, 2010

Emirates Orders 32 More Airbus A380’s

Dubai based Emirates has placed a firm order for 32 Airbus A380 super-jumbos – the largest single order for the type. With the already ordered 58, the Middle-Eastern airline will operate a fleet of 80 (!) Double-Deckers!

This latest order of 32 A380’s is a major milestone, for several reasons. This is the single biggest order for the aircraft type to date, valued at USD 11.5 billion (at list prices). This is the first time that an airline already operating the type ordered additional pieces – which is a real proof that the plane is fulfilling it’s promises in operations. And last but not least, it confirms that Emirates thinks about Dubai as a major worldwide Air Travel Hub even more seriously than earlier.

The order agreement was signed in a ceremony yesterday at the Berlin Air Show, in front of a very prestigious audience: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Emirates Chairman and CEO Ahmed bin SaeedAl-Maktoum and Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders.

Al-Maktoum told media that “the A380 is a great aircraft and our passengers worldwide are enthusiastic about this new dimension of air travel. This latest order, adding to 58 A380s previously ordered, affirms Emirates’ strategy to become a world leading carrier and to further establish Dubai as a central gateway to worldwide air travel.

Enders said, “Emirates has supported the development of the A380 from the earliest days, and today’s order…is the best endorsement I can imagine.

Emirates already took delivery of its 10th A380 this week and currently serves the largest A380 network: London Heathrow, Toronto, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Jeddah, Bangkok, Seoul Incheon, Sydney and Auckland. It plans to start A380 service from Dubai to Beijing on Aug. 1 and to Manchester on Sept. 1 and will restore A380 service on its Dubai-New York JFK route in October.

The carrier plans to have an enormous amount of widebody capacity in the future: In addition to the 80 A380s it still has on order for delivery, it has commitments for 70 A350s and 18 777-300s.

Based on the currently known orders for the A380 (234), Emirates holds 39% of the total orders for the type, meaning that more than every third A380 built will be operated by them.

by balint01

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A La Carte Meals On KLM Economy Class

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has started testing à la carte meal service in Economy Class, on a number of selected flights.

When traveling on First or on Business Class, passengers can usually choose from a few different menus before the meal service, or even before taking off. In Economy, usually passengers get two options – if they are among the first being served (“Chicken or Pasta?”). If you end up sitting in a row that gets the main dish as the last ones, you may be left without any choice and just get the meal that is left.

At the end of May, KLM launched a pilot project testing à la carte catering in Economy Class on flights from Amsterdam to Bangkok/Taipei, Dubai, Cape Town, and Singapore/Denpasar. Passengers will be able to choose from four dishes while the pilot test runs across the peak tourist season in the summer, until the end of August, 2010.

KLM will continue serving its standard meals onboard, this choice of menu is offered in addition to the usual catering. The four dish choices include:

Orders can be placed and paid for by credit card, when checking in online. The cost is EUR 15 (USD 18.62) per dish. Important, that in order to get this service, one must check-in online between 30 and 24 hours prior to departure. Note: if you ordered a special meal when you made your booking  (e.g.: vegetarian, kosher, lactose-free, etc.), it will be replaced by your a la carte choice.

The wishes and choices of our customers are key. We will be testing them during the pilot project. Our aim is to align our products even more closely to what different customers want,” said Erik Varwijk, Executive Vice President of KLM Commercial.

We are looking forward to hear back from KLM how the pilot project goes, but to be honest, – shall it be successful – providing this service on flights to all the worldwide destinations that KLM flies to may be much easier than providing the same service for flights flying back to Amsterdam from across the globe. We look forward to seeing this service being rolled-out to all flights and maybe starting an onboard a la carte catering competition among airlines?

by balint01

Lufthansa A380 Flies To Johannesburg

Lufthansa flew the German National Football Team, the Nationalelf to the South African WorldCup on board their brand new flagship, the Airbus A380 super-jumbo. They titled this special flight as “Mannschaftsbus“.

The flight, numbered as LH 2010 left Frankfurt a bit late at almost 9 pm on Sunday evening, June 6, 2010 to arrive in Johannesburg at 8:15 on Monday morning – right at the scheduled time. About 150 football fans were also aboard the A380 along with the players, the DFB (German Football Association) trainers and assistants. The team was given a warm send-off in the Business Lounge at Gate C14 at Frankfurt. Before the flight, Team Manager Oliver Bierhoff and the players took part in a talk session. All the passengers on the special flight were presented with an exclusive Lufthansa World Cup fan kit full of items the supporters will need to cheer their team on.

Captain Jürgen Raps, Member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board and Chief Pilot, was pilot in command of the special flight. Supporting him on the flight deck were Captain Raimund Müller and Captain Werner Knorr. All three of them had a painted German flag on their faces, like all the real fans usually do. The cabin crew comprised two pursers and 19 flight attendants. “We’re flying to South Africa with a good feeling,” said Manuel Neuer, goalkeeper of the German national squad.

We are thrilled to be the first guests on board Lufthansa’s biggest and most modern airliner and hope after a relaxed flight to realise our sporting ambitions at the World Cup in South Africa,” said Team Manager Oliver Bierhoff.

The youngest German World Cup Team since 1934 had a full floor to themselves on the double-decker aircraft. The lower level of Economy class was occupied by journalists and the above mentioned 150 lucky fans.

As a surprise, however, on the upper deck, one of the First Class seats was occupied during the flight by the famous singer: Shakira! Her private jet arrived in Frankfurt a little bit late, thus she missed all the pre-flight events, but the A380 did wait for her and took off a few minutes late. Reportedly, members of the team taught a few German words to the pop-diva, who is scheduled to perform on the first ever FIFA WORLD CUP KICK–OFF CELEBRATION CONCERT, together with Alicia Keys, The Black Eyed Peas, John Legend just to mention a few from the very impressive, long line-up of musicians. The historic event is taking place the night before the first match at 8 p.m. local time on June 10, 2010, at the newly-renovated Orlando Stadium in Soweto/Johannesburg.

The well-rested and stylishly traveled German Football Team will play their first match against Australia in Durban, on Saturday.

Minute-by-minute reporting from the flight in German: here.

Photos taken from the Lufthansa Facebook site.

by balint01


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