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Lufthansa launches the 777X

Germany’s Lufthansa has become the launch customer for the Boeing 777X with an order for 34 of the aircraft which will burn up 25 per cent less fuel than the aircraft they replace.

Lufthansa also ordered 25 Airbus A350-900s touting that the two aircraft will also cut the noise footprint by at least 30 per cent and offer a 20 per cent decrease in unit costs (costs per seat-kilometre).

These savings will both bring down fares and will also be great news for airport communities.

Lufthansa said that following a recommendation by the Deutsche Lufthansa AG Executive Board headed by Dr Christoph Franz, the Supervisory Board approved the purchase of 59 ultra-modern aircraft for the Group at its meeting on Wednesday September 18.

The first of these new aircraft will be delivered as early as 2016.

Older Boeing 747-400s and Airbus A340-300s will be phased out by 2025. The new aircraft will primarily serve to replace existing aircraft at Lufthansa.

The investment amount for the Lufthansa Group’s latest order totals €14 billion (US$18.9 billion) at list prices and is the largest single private-sector investment in the history of German industry.

“This investment will safeguard about 13,000 jobs at Lufthansa alone as well as thousands of jobs at our partners in aviation and other suppliers”, said Christoph Franz, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of the Lufthansa Group, explaining the macroeconomic significance of the investment at a press conference in Frankfurt.

This investment in new technology, efficiency and customer comfort is a continuation of the ongoing fleet modernization that is taking place at the Group’s airlines.

Lufthansa operates a wide-body fleet of around 107 aircraft, among them ten ultra-modern Airbus A380s and nine Boeing 747-8s as well as the Airbus A330-300 (18 aircraft). The fleet also includes Airbus A340s (48) and Boeing 747-400s (22). In addition to these, the Group subsidiary Swiss has 31 wide-body aeroplanes, while Austrian Airlines’ wide-body fleet consists of 12 aircraft.

“Less fuel consumption, less CO2 emissions and less noise: The aircraft on order will enable us to make a quantum leap in efficiency and to enter the 2-litre class”, commented Christoph Franz.

No other aircraft type will fly as economically as the A350-900 and the Boeing 777-9X in terms of kerosene consumption per passenger and 100 kilometres flown.

The order underscores the company’s desire to invest in the latest technology to help the environment. The 59 new aircraft will consume an average of just 2.9 litres of kerosene per passenger and 100 kilometres flown.

That is around 25 per cent less than aircraft available today and it will have a positive impact on the Group’s carbon footprint. Unit costs will sink by approximately 20 per cent compared with predecessor models.

Boeing is expected to launch both the 777-9X and -8X at the Dubai Air Show in November.

787-9 takes flight

The latest version of the Boeing 787, the -9 variant, took to the air on Tuesday at 11.02 am and made a successful trouble free flight from Paine Field in Everett, Washington, adjacent to the company’s 787 / 777 / 767 / 747 assembly buildings. 

With its distinctive new Boeing livery, the 787-9 completed a 5 hour, 16 minute flight landing at 4:18pm at Seattle’s Boeing Field.
(See take-off video below)

“Today’s first flight marks a significant milestone for our team, including our partners,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Officer Ray Conner. “

During the flight, 787-9 Senior Project Pilot Mike Bryan and 787 Chief Pilot Randy Neville departed to the north, reaching an altitude of 20,400 feet (6,218 meters) and an airspeed of 250 knots, or about 288 miles (463 kilometers) per hour, customary for a first flight.

While Captains Bryan and Neville tested the aircraft’s systems and structures, onboard equipment transmitted real-time data to a flight-test team on the ground in Seattle.

Powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, the first 787-9 will be joined in flight test by two additional aircraft, one of which will feature General Electric GEnx engines. Those aircraft are in the final stages of assembly in Boeing’s Everett factory. Over the coming months, the fleet will be subjected to a variety of tests and conditions to demonstrate the safety and reliability of the aircraft’s design.

The 787-9 can carry an additional 40 passengers for a total of 290 in a mixed class layout.

Boeing’s newest variatnt accounts for 388 of the 936 787s sold.

First flight test aircraft will eventually be delivered to Air New Zealand in mid-2014.

Unlike the 787-8 production the 787-9 build has gone very smoothly and is on track – or at least on the revised production timetable.

Boeing’s Vice President – 787 Derivatives Mark Jenks, who has been with the 787 since its inception and has seen the good the bad and the ugly of the program is very upbeat.

“There is no question that the 787-9 production has benefited from the hard lessons of the 787-8,” said Jenks. “The performance of the 787-9 has just been extremely steady.”

Amazingly, instead of [the 787-9] gaining weight it has lost several hundred pounds compared to its final configuration in 2010.

“So, again, given some of the struggles in the past on this program, it’s been really very encouraging.”

In fact the 787-9 schedule reset two years ago has been maintained. “This is much more in keeping with our tradition of doing airplanes.” And Jenks adds, “there is very little –[almost none] – travelled work.”

While the 787-8 looks nice the 787-9 looks just right.

With a 6.1m stretch the 787-9 can carry 40 more passengers and  has a nominal seat count of 290 in three classes. It also has another 555km in range for 15,700km.

Air New Zealand will get the first three examples which are Line numbers 126, 133 and 139.

All Nippon Airways will its first 787-9 after Air New Zealand with Line number 146.

The Qantas Group has 50 options for the 787-9.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yeti Airlines grants 90-year-old man with life long wish

A 90-year-old man has had his life long wish of flying in an aeroplane granted by Yeti Airlines.

 

Master Nau was flown from Bhairahawa to Kathmandu, which lasted for 30 minutes, but for Master it was a dream come true.

 

Born to an under privileged family in Rupandehi District, Master never thought that one day his long cherished dream of flying in a plane would be fulfilled.

 

“Majja Ayo, Ajja Ayo,” Master said, which interprets to “I enjoyed, I enjoyed.”

 

In Kathmandu, Master visited the mosque, NarayanHitiPalace, Singhadurbar and Bhdhanilkantha.

 

Roshan Regmi, Marketing Manager of Yeti Airlines told journalists Yeti Airlines gives high importance to corporate social responsibility, which it came forward to give Mr Nau a whole new experience in life.

 

Master said his last wish was to wear a digital watch, another wish, which was given to him by Yeti Airlines.

 

The initiative comes less than three days after Yeti Airlines provided 18 orphans from Bal Mandir with a free flight to see Mount Everest.

 

AirAsia Sale

AirAsia fares ex Perth and Kuala Lumpur

Sale runs from 17 to 22 September with fares available for travel between 7 January and 5 August 2014. ALL fares subject to terms and conditions below.

Fares from:

Perth to Bali $120

Perth to Kuala Lumpur $199 one-way

Kuala Lumpur to:

Penang $10
Langkawi $10
Kota Bharu $10
Johor Bahru $10
Kuala Terengganu $10
Jakarta $23
Krabi $26
Surat Thani (Koh Samui) $26
Vientiane $48
Bali $53
Chiang Mai $65
Lombok $70

Fly-Thru fares which allow guests to easily connect between two different flights via the Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal without having to check in twice.

Perth to:

Penang $229
Singapore $229
Bangkok $239
Phuket $239
Phnom Penh $239
Ho Chi Minh $249
Hong Kong $259
Osaka $259

Terms and Conditions:

Flights and fares are subject to availability. Availability of connecting flights are subject to timings of the individual flights. Seats are limited and not available on all flights/days or at peak periods. Fares include airport taxes & surcharges. Processing fee is applicable for online bookings made by credit, debit or charge card. Fees apply for checked baggage except on Premium Flat Bed fares. Other terms and conditions apply. Booking period 17 September 2013 – 22 September 2013, or until sold out. Travel period 7 January 2014 –5 August 2014. Lowest possible sale fares are one-way online at airasia.com. Next best possible fare available via phone with additional $25 service fee. All amounts are in Australian dollars unless stated otherwise.

 

Jetstar’s 787 takes to the air

Jetstar engines

Jetstar’s first 335-seat Boeing 787 has taken to the air in Seattle, Washington State in the US, ahead of its delivery to Melbourne, Australia set for Wednesday October 9.

Resplendent in a striking silver and orange colour scheme livery, and registered VH-VKA, the 787 was aloft for several hours.

Jetstar, part of the Qantas Group, is getting 14 Boeing 787s and will have three in service by Christmas. The Qantas Group has overall commitments for 64 787s.

After the first Jetstar 787 arrives in Australia it will then go to the regulator to be certified to start flying initially on Australian domestic routes in November.

Jetstar’s 787 program director Mark Dal Pra said using it domestically would let more Australians experience the state-of-the-art plane.

It would be the only 787 used on domestic routes and would later join the airline’s international network for services to Singapore, Japan and Hawaii.  

The Jetstar 787 has an entertainment system with video on demand, games, USB ports and in-seat power.

It is the most technologically advanced commercial plane with a host of passenger features. A key to its quantum leap is the carbon fibre-reinforced polymer composite construction, which is far lighter and stronger than traditional aluminium and does not corrode.

This allows higher cabin humidity and less pressurisation to eliminate negatives of flying such as dehydration and mild altitude sickness.

Other advances are big windows and gust suppression to counter turbulence.

AirlineRatings.com will be aboard the first delivery flight with daily updates.

CSeries takes off

Airbus Bombardier C Series partnership
Bombardier's C Series.

The ambition of Canadian aerospace manufacturer Bombardier to take market share from Boeing and Airbus took a step forward Monday September 16 when its CSeries aircraft lifted off for its first flight. (See video below)

The maiden flight marks the start of the CSeries aircraft’s flight test program leading up to the first customer delivery, and was also the first flight for Pratt & Whitney’s new Geared Turbofan PurePower engine as part of an aircraft certification program.

The historic flight of CSeries flight test vehicle one (FTV1) – a CS100 – was conducted under the command of Captain Charles Ellis, Chief Flight Test Pilot, Bombardier Flight Test Center.

Captain Ellis was assisted by his colleagues, Captain Andris Litavniks and Andreas Hartono in the roles of First Officer and Flight Test Engineer, respectively.

The flight departed from Montréal–Mirabel International Airport at approximately 9:55 EDT and returned at approximately 12:25 EDT.

“The performance of the CSeries aircraft was very impressive. We couldn’t have wished for a better maiden flight,” said Captain Ellis.

“FTV1’s state-of-the-art flight deck was responsive and comfortable, and the aircraft handled exactly as expected. Overall, we had a very productive first flight and an excellent start to the flight test program,” said Mr Ellis.

“This is a very proud day for Bombardier and a true validation of the CSeries aircraft’s design and development, and of our extensive ground test program,” said Rob Dewar, Vice President and General Manager, CSeries Program, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.

 “During its maiden flight, CSeries FTV1 reached an altitude of 12,500 feet (3,810 metres) and an air speed of 230 knots (426 km/h). In-flight tests included flap and landing gear retractions and extensions; in-flight manoeuvres that included a simulated landing; and early validation of the flight control system,”added Mr Dewar.

Additionally, we’re also delighted that many of our guests commented on the impressive and quiet performance during takeoff and landing.” 

Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft said “the patience, care and quality that has gone into the CSeries aircraft’s development program shone through today as we celebrate this milestone achievement of the first all-new, single-aisle aircraft that will revolutionize the 100- to 149-seat commercial aircraft market – with its outstanding economics, reduced environmental footprint and exceptional flying experience.”

A total of five CS100 flight test aircraft, all of which are currently in various stages of assembly, will join the flight test program in the coming months.

The all new CSeries, which seats between 100 to 149 passengers depending on model is pitched at regional operations and promises to burn up to 20 per cent less fuel than the aircraft it will replace.

Bombardier has won 177 firm orders and 211 commitments from 15 customers for the CSeries.

The big selling point for the CSeries is its revolutionary Pratt and Whitney engine which is extremely fuel efficient and quiet.

And the quietness of the engine came across at the first flight which was slightly ahead of schedule and many were caught unaware because of the low noise level.

According to Rob Dewar, VP and GM of the CSeries program “some spectators actually missed the beginning of the flight.”

The CSeries 100 will enter service later next year.

 

Landing on a mountain top

A fully laden super jumbo A380 sometimes needs 11,000ft of runway to take-off but what about landing on the top of an 11,000ft high mountain?

That is the job for a Piper PA-18 Super Cub not to mention a super pilot.

AirlineRatings.com has sourced a spectacular video of a pilot landing his Super Cub on the top of Bunker Hill, Nevada at an altitude of 11,000ft. And to add to the extreme difficulty the pilot has to battle strong winds racing across the mountain ridge (See the video below).

To compensate for the strong winds the pilot skillfully dips his wing into the direction of the wind and only at the last minute returns to straight and level flight.

How do one of the world’s smallest and largest planes compare? Here are the vital stats.

PA-18 Super Cub

Passengers: 1
Length: 22 ft 7 in (6.88 m)
Wingspan: 35 ft 2½ in (10.73 m)
Maximum speed: 130mph (208 km/h)
Range: 460 miles (735 km)
Take-off weight: 1,750 lb (794 kg)

Airbus A380

Passengers: 853
Length: 238.6 ft (72.73m)
Wingspan: 261.6ft (79.75 m)
Maximum speed: 587mph (945 km/h)
Range:  9,755 miles (15,700 km)
Take-off weight 1,300,000 lb (590,000 kg)

A 13-year-old girl determined to be a flight attendant

A 13-year-old girl in China is dressing like a flight attendant and roaming around the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in the hope to live out her dream as a flight attendant, the South China Morning Post reported.

The girl, Luo Siqi, who has been at the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport since July, first came to the attention of local police officers in August.

At the time, she was dressed in a China Southern Airlines’ flight attendant uniform and was carrying documents about the airline.

Police have escorted her to a Guangzhou children’s welfare centre on two occasions, but she insists on returning to the airport.

“I am truly in love with the sky. Let me go to the airport,” she was reported by the New Express Daily as telling police.

Appearing more mature than her years, the girl told the New Express Daily that she was abandoned by her biological parents shortly after she was born, and had since been adopted.

Luo left home for Guangzhou in July after deciding to “take a look at the big city,” according to the paper.

“I love blue sky, and have always dreamed of flying. By doing this, I am a bit closer to my dream,” she said when asked to explain her behaviour.

AFL Grand Final Flights

Perth to Melbourne Flight Options for the 2013 Grand Final

Airline                                   25th     26th      27th

Qantas  Direct                       $734 / $1113 / $1113

Qantas Via Sydney                $575 / $820  /  $820

Virgin                                   $805 /  Sold  /   Sold 

Virgin Via Sydney                  $759 /  $997 /  $902     

Jetstar                                  $589 /  Sold  /  $589

Jetstar Via Sydney                 $389 / $558  /  $708

Tigerair                                 $589 / $719  /  $719

Flights with Tigerair and Jetstar are basic cost only. Baggage and food will be extra.

Prices correct as at Sunday 15 at 2pm. 

United Airlines gives tickets away for free

Passengers reported buying tickets for $5 to $10 before United Airlines shut down the bookings on its website and phone centres to prevent more tickets from being sold or given away.

 

News.com.au reported that the airline said it accidentally filed some fares for $0. Airport charges might have resulted in a small cost seen by some passengers.

Such fare mistakes have happened before, often when an airline dropped a digit when entering fares into its computer system.

 

United Continental Holdings Inc spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said the mistake was due to an error in filing the fares, not a problem with the website. She said United doesn’t yet know how many tickets were sold at the unusually low prices.

 

Will United honour the tickets? “As always, we will do what is appropriate,” McCarthy said.

 

Maura Leahy, who lives in Houston, was booking a Christmas trip back to Washington to visit her parents on Thursday. The trip to Washington was $5. The return leg was $220, but it was still a cheap ticket.

But why wait. She decided to try booking a cheap flight to surprise her parents on Friday.

 

“It was $5 round-trip, no fees, nothing,” she said.

 

She checked in right away and printed her boarding pass hoping to increase her chances of being able to use the ticket.

 

Leahy said a co-worker scored a cheap flight to San Francisco while another got one to DC for later this year.

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