Posts Tagged 'airbus'

First Flight of the Airbus A350

The brand new Airbus A350 aircraft has taken to the skies for the first time ever on June 14, 2013 (earlier today). A very much awaited moment for the aviation world – and the 33 customers who have firm orders for the type – has happened, and the plane worked flawlessly. The first flying fuselage is an A350-900 version (the medium size of the type).

Airbus A350 XWB First flight (Live from Airbus.com)

The Extra Wide Body (XWB) plane took off (see video) from Tolouse-Blagnac airport at 10:00 am local time. The first flight is a very important milestone in the life of a new aircraft type, that has been preceded by the manufacturing of different parts, transporting them to Toulouse, building the actual airplane, installing the wires, connecting the engines, running ground tests, engine power up (happened on June 2nd) and also taxi tests, when the plane rolled-up and down the runway by its own power. The fuel efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines on MSN1 are also new, and this flight marks the first flight of those engines as well. The A350 is planned to be more fuel efficient and have operation costs up to 8% lower than the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Airbus A350 XWB First flight (Live from Airbus.com)

Nearly two hours into the flight, above the Northern part of the Pyrenees  Mountains Peter Chandler has confirmed over radio in the Airbus.com live coverage that “All is going pretty well, the weather is beautiful up here and the plane behaves wonderful. We are climbing up higher to do some higher speed tests“. The first flight took nearly 4 hours altogether and ended with a smooth landing (see video).

Airbus A350 XWB First flight Path (from flightradar24.com)

The flight path on flightradar24.com

The A350 XWB is the all-new mid-size long range product line comprising three versions and seating between 270 and 350 passengers in typical three-class layouts. The new family will bring a step change in efficiency compared with existing aircraft in this size category, using 25 per cent less fuel and providing an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions. Scheduled for entry-into-service in second half of 2014, the A350 XWB has already won 613 firm orders from 33 customers worldwide as mentioned above.

A350 XWB First flight crew - by Airbus

The A350 is the first Airbus with both fuselage and wing structures made primarily of carbon fibre-reinfoced polymer. The launch customer is Qatar Airways (who is soon to take its first Airbus A380 as well) with 80 pieces of the plane on firm order.

Besides this first test aircraft, two more of the type are soon to join the test fleet as they are already on the final assembly line. The third fuselage will be the first one to feature a full internal cabin as well, the other two are equipped with in-flight test lab computers on most of their deck and water tanks for heavy flight tests.

by balint01

Advertisements

First China Southern Airbus A380

SkyTeam member China Southern Airlines took delivery of its first Airbus A380 superjumbo in Tolouse, France in mid-October – adding it to service just four days later – becoming the seventh airlines in the world (and the third in SkyTeam) to operate the largest bird in the skies today. China Southern is the first operator of the A380 in the world, that deploys it on domestic routes.

The first Chinese owned double-decker airplane has 508 seats, that puts it in the middle of the field of airlines operating the super-jumbo. Interestingly, Korean Air has “only” 407 – the difference of 101 seats is about a regional jet’s capacity (!) – while Air France has 538 seats on the same size aircraft. The 58th A380 delivered by Airbus is the first to go to China, to the largest Asian airlines company. China Southern operates the largest Airbus flee in Asia with almost 200 European made planes as part of a fleet with a total of 422 aircraft, and has 4 more A380’s on order.

The world’s largest passenger jetliner at China Southern has 8 fully lie-flat reclining seats in “Platinum” suites (First Class), 70 in Business (1-2-1 layout) and 428 seats in Economy (3-4-3 layout). Passengers’ well–being will be enhanced through the onboard innovative mood lighting system including several different illumination scenarios to create a relaxing atmosphere and environment. The state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system makes it easy for passengers to select from a wide variety of audio and video programs and make their long-haul A380 trip something to remember. The cabin also offers seats and lavatories that are easily accessible to disabled passengers. The airplane is powered by 4 Rolls-Royce Trent-900 engines.

We are proud to become the first A380 operator in China,” said CZ chairman Si Xianmin. “The introduction of the A380 in our fleet is a very important step for the development of China Southern. The economics offered by the A380 will undoubtedly improve our competitiveness on international routes and is the perfect asset to make China Southern Airlines achieve its goal of becoming a leading global carrier,” he said.

The aircraft type was first operated on the Beijing-Guangzhou route between 18-26 October, and on the Beijing-Shanghai Hongqiao route, between 27-29 October. China Southern plans to start using the A380 on international service as well, the first such route being the Guangzhou-Paris route. The launch date for this service has not yet been unveiled. The other existing A380 operators – Singapore Airlines, EmiratesQantas AirwaysAir FranceLufthansa, and Korean Air – only deploy the aircraft on international services. For 2012, A380 deliveries to Malaysia Airlines and Thai Airways are on the list.

Four years of operation show that airlines who fly the A380 increase capacity, gain market share and improve load factors – with an A380 now taking off or landing every 15 minutes,” explained Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders at the hand-over ceremony in Tolouse. To date, A380s have flown more than 350,000 hours and carried over 16 million passengers, while serving 25 major cities worldwide, including flights that link the Middle East and Europe to Beijing and Shanghai in China. Guangzhou will be a new A380 destination with the China Southern’s domestic service, though.

by balint01

First Korean Air Airbus A380

SkyTeam member Korean Air took delivery of its first Airbus A380 superjumbo in Tolouse, France a few days ago, becoming the sixth airlines in the world to operate the largest bird in the skies today. Classified on the ceremony as a “milestone” for the airline, the spacious Korean plane has the least seats of any A380 delivered so far.

The double-decker has “only” 407 seats on board, with 12 First (Kosmo) Class suites on the lower deck, followed by 301 Economy seats, with all 94 Business (Prestige) Class on the upper deck – marking the first ever full business class upper deck on any Airbus A380’s currently in operation. Besides all the seats and suites, the Korean Air A380 features two common areas: a lounge area at the back of the plane available for Premium passengers with sofa-style seating and a stand-up bar, and the world’s first onboard duty-free showcase shop. Passengers can browse, for example, samples of make-up, jewellery, sunglasses and cameras in this specially built area at the rear of the lower deck, before ordering the product(s) to take home. Some may question the choice of removing economy seats in favour of a shop, but theory suggests that there is more money to be made from duty-free sales than one might expect.

Tom Enders, Airbus’ CEO, at the handover of the superjumbo also used the term “milestone” to describe the significance of the event. “[It] marks a new milestone in the relationship between Korean Air and Airbus”, he said, a relationship that started nearly 40 years ago as Korean Air was the first airline outside Europe to order an Airbus aircraft – an A300 in 1974.

Korean Air’s A380  is powered by the Engine Alliance GP 7200 engine, which the engine manufacturer claims is the most fuel efficient option for the A380. Three of the existing A380 fleets (Singapore  AirlinesQantas and Lufthansa) instead have Rolls Royce’s Trent 900 engines, while two (Emirates and Air France) use the GP 7200’s. Of the 234 A380s currently on order, 124 will have a GP7200 engine, 96 will have the RR T900, and 14 have not yet been decided on.

The maiden voyage for Korean Air’s new aircraft will be from its Seoul hub to Tokyo Narita via Hong Kong. Korean Air will take delivery of four more A380 aircraft before the end of 2011, plus a further five by the end of 2014, bringing the total to ten. The A380 will be used on flights to Bangkok from July, followed by non-stop flights to New York in August and Los Angeles in October.

The next airlines in the queue to receive their first A380 is China Southern Airlines in the second half 2011. Next year, A380 deliveries to Malaysia Airlines and Thai Airways are on the list.

As of April 15, 2011, the worldwide A380 fleet had operated 270,000 flight hours on 30,000 revenue flights. Currently, there are 48 A380s in service and 234 firm orders from 17 customers.

by balint01

Korean Asiana Orders 6 Airbus A380’s

Seoul-based Star Alliance member Asiana Airlines placed an order for six Airbus A380 superjumbos, with deliveries starting in 2014.

Airbus A380 in Asiana colors

Asiana has not yet decided about the configuration of the cabins, but announced that it will have three classes. In a statement, Asiana said its cabin specifications to be determined by year end will be “state-of-the-art” offering “distinct, high-end service.” The order is valued at around $1.8 billion based on list prices and complements another earlier Airbus order, which is for 30 A350’s.

It plans to operate the A380 aircraft, two of which will arrive in 2014, two in 2015 and two in 2017, to the US and/or Europe. “Asiana’s decision to acquire the A380 was based on the increase in the number of [free trade agreements] in which Korea is engaged and the recent addition of Korea to the US Visa Waiver Program,” President and CEO Young-Doo Yoon said. “Due to favorable factors like these, forecasts indicate a steady and stable 5% yearly increase of passengers to Korea and the Asia/Pacific region.” He added that “the significantly reduced operating costs and fuel efficiencies afforded by the aircraft will enable us to enhance our productivity and reduce our carbon footprint.

Airbus has received 240 firm orders for the aircraft from 18 customers (see earlier post about the continent and airline breakdown).

by balint01

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

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

First Lufthansa Airbus A380

Lufthansa has taken delivery of their first Airbus A380. The German airline will first use it to transport the German National Team (“Nationalelf”) to the Football (soccer) World Cup in South Africa starting in less than two weeks.

On May 19, Lufthansa become the second European airline after Air France (and the 5th worldwide) to receive the super-jumbo when Airbus CEO Thomas Enders handed over the aircraft to Lufthansa CEO and Chairman Wolfgang Mayrhuber at an official ceremony at the Airbus plant in Hamburg-Finkenwerder, which was attended by about 700 honorary guests. The plane powered by Trent-900 engines carries the registration number D-AIMA and is named “Frankfurt am Main”.

The German flag-carrier first plans to operate its first double-decker for pilot training across 13 German airports plus Zurich and Vienna from May 31 through June 3, and also on a few selected scheduled flights from Frankfurt to Munich and Hamburg in order to familiarize crew and airport staff with the aircraft, while also generating publicity. On June 6, 2010, this super-jumbo will transport the German national soccer team to Johannesburg for the World Cup in South Africa.

Lufthansa has configured its Airbus A380 with 526 seats (12 less than so far recorder Air France). The entirely new First Class cabin (seen above) with eight seats on the upper deck reflects the concept of individuality and offers the ultimate in comfort and technical innovation, which further enhances the travel experience. However, Lufthansa did not opt for the personal Suite-type of First Class product as fellow Star Alliance member Singapore Airlines, or Emirates. Lufthansa is rolling-out an overall new First class product together with the introduction of the A380 as originally announced two years ago. Also on the upper deck is the Business Class cabin with 98 seats. The main deck features 420 Economy Class seats providing an unprecedented level of passenger comfort in coach-class (seen below).

Download the full Seat-plan of the Lufthansa Airbus A380-800.

Long-haul scheduled services, starting with Frankfurt-Tokyo Narita route, will commence on June 11, 2010, with thrice weekly return flights, replacing a Boeing 747-400 on the route. The Tokyo A380 service will become daily from August 4, after Lufthansa receives the second super-jumbo. Currently the second plane is undergoing painting work and cabin interior installment in Hamburg, and will be named “München”.

Furthermore Lufthansa will receive two additional A380s this year (one in July and one in September). Its third A380 will operate between Frankfurt and Beijing thrice-weekly beginning Aug. 25 and its fourth will fly between Frankfurt and Johannesburg thrice-weekly from Oct. 25.  The German carrier will take 4 more such planes next year and expects each A380 to transport 366.000 passengers each year, while flying 4.6 million kms each. It received the first plane 2.5 years later than the original schedule and has 15 firm orders currently with 10 more options for the aircraft type.

The first Lufthansa Airbus A380 has also received a brand new maintenance hangar (the largest in Europe) at Frankfurt Airport, by Lufthansa Technik, after seven years of preparational work. The new facility underwent final tests in early April, when a test aircraft was flown in from Toulouse for this purpose. Lufthansa Technik already employs 80 A380-licensed technicians including staff for stations outside of Germany. It invested €150 million ($200.5 million) to build its A380 maintenance facility at Frankfurt expanded later. Currently, it has the capacity to handle three A380s and two MD-11s at one time. Lufthansa will also get support for the first several months of A380 operations from Airbus, which will provide nine specialists to assist the carrier, and Rolls-Royce, which will supply 20 temporary support staff.

We are happy to see another European airline starting to operate the European-built, largest aircraft in the world, and hope that it will bring the expected results, including reduced noise levels for both passengers and residents on the ground, as well as reduced fuel consumption and less emissions.

The big question remaining is: how will the 11 starting players of the Nationalelf share the 8 First Class seats on their June 6 flight to South Africa? 🙂

by balint01


Blog calendar

October 2018
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Archives

Advertisements