Tag Archives: Airbus A380

QANTAS Group weighs in after Australia orders the “two person” cockpit rule

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) has issued this statement after the Australian government mandated the “two people in the cockpit” rule for Australian carriers:

Following discussions with the Federal Government, regulators and industry, the Qantas Group will have two approved people in the cockpit at all times in-flight.

This includes Qantas, QantasLink, Network Aviation and Jetstar flights.

When one pilot needs to leave the cockpit for any reason, another authorised person will occupy the jump seat (as distinct from the control seats occupied by the Captain and First Officer) until they return.

This policy applies to aircraft with more than 50 seats. Of a total Qantas Group fleet of around 300 aircraft, this excludes Qantaslink’s fleet of 18 Q200s and Q300s, which generally operate on short sectors of one or two hours where the need for pilots to leave the cockpit is minimal.

Qantas Group flights have between two and four operating pilots on board, depending on duration and aircraft type.

The safety and health of customers and employees is the Qantas Group’s number one priority. We have a comprehensive safety management system that guards against risks to our operations.

There are numerous layers of screening and support for pilots, ranging from regular medical checks to stress management training and confidential counselling and pilot-to-pilot support networks.

Together with regulators and other airlines, Qantas will closely study any learnings that stem from the Germanwings tragedy to help make aviation even safer.

Our deepest sympathies are with the loved ones of all those on board flight 4U 9525.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-842 VH-OQB (msn 015) climbs away from the runway at London Heathrow Airport bound for Sydney.

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Lufthansa Group announces its new summer holiday destinations

Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) has announced new holiday destinations with this statement:

The airlines in the Lufthansa Group Airlines – Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, Lufthansa and Swiss – will become even more attractive to holidaymakers and leisure travelers this upcoming summer. The airlines’ offer will be added above all with popular tourist and leisure-orientated destinations. Passengers will therefore be able to count on the high-quality service and dependability of a scheduled airline. During the summer holidays, many tourist destinations will be bolstered with further seasonal connections. Additional flights are planned to be added to existing city connections. This is good news especially for business travelers. They will be more flexible in managing their appointments.

The forthcoming 2015 summer flight timetable sees airlines in the Lufthansa Group offer their customers the densest route network in the world with more than 22,500 flights every week. Including the seasonal routes this summer, the Lufthansa Group airlines will be linking 321 destinations in 103 countries on four continents via its hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels, but also with many point-to-point routes (previous summer: 294 destinations in 101 countries). Over 18,100 code-share flights with 32 partner airlines extend the flight schedule of all Lufthansa Group Airlines and offer an virtually world-wide network. The summer flight timetables for the individual Group airlines are valid from Sunday, 29 March to Saturday, 25 October 2015.

Key news from the five Lufthansa Group airlines:

Lufthansa

Lufthansa will have a total of 215 destinations in its summer timetable and further develops its extensive offer. Within Europe, Lufthansa adds the Polish industrial and commercial city of Bydgoszcz to the airline’s flight timetable in summer 2015 as a new destination from Frankfurt. In future, Lufthansa will operate a total of around 240 flights per week to one of its nine destinations in Poland. Its routes to neighboring Denmark will also be expanded to include the northern Danish city of Aalborg, which will be served by a non-stop flight from Frankfurt. The sun destinations Heraklion (Crete/Greece) and Seville (Spain) are other new additions to Lufthansa’s flight timetable. Flights to Heraklion will depart from Munich and to the capital of Andalusia will leave from the Lufthansa hubs in Frankfurt and Munich. Lufthansa customers will also be able to fly non-stop to Reykjavík (Iceland) from the two hubs for the first time. Bodrum (Aegean/Turkey) and Cagliari (Sardinia/Italy) are two existing seasonal destinations that are now connected to Frankfurt. Lufthansa will fly from Munich to Glasgow (Scotland/UK) and Perugia (Umbria/Italy) for the first time this summer. There will also be additional flights on existing Spanish connections from Frankfurt to Málaga, Palma de Mallorca and Valencia as well as from Munich to Bodrum. Customers will again be able to fly to the Egyptian capital Cairo from Munich, in addition to the existing route from Frankfurt.

The Airbus A380 (above), which has proved to be very popular among passengers, will be used on routes from Frankfurt to Los Angeles and Seoul once again in the summer. This will bring to eleven the number of destinations that Lufthansa flies to using the world’s largest passenger aircraft. On 25 September 2015, Lufthansa will launch its new intercontinental flight programme aimed specifically at leisure travelers. Tampa in the US state of Florida will be the first destination. An Airbus A340-300 will fly five times a week on this new year-round route to begin with. The other routes planned from Frankfurt – to Panama, Cancún, Malé and Mauritius – will be added this winter.

Germanwings

Above Copyright Photo: Germanwings Airbus A319-112 D-AKNJ (msn 1172) taxies at London Heathrow.

In its summer flight timetable, Germanwings is offering a total of 132 destinations in 31 countries from Berlin-Tegel, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Hanover, Cologne/Bonn and Stuttgart. Its flight connections from Düsseldorf to Athens (Greece), Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), Jersey and Reykjavík (Iceland) are all new. The airline is also adding two new routes from Düsseldorf in April to the Portuguese destinations of Porto and Faro. Its routes to France will be expanded as well to include the port city of Marseille. In future, it will fly non-stop from Berlin to Palermo (Sicily/Italy). There will be flights from Berlin and Hamburg to Izmir (Turkey) in the summer. Hamburg will also have a direct connection to Bari, the capital of Apulia. The new routes from Stuttgart to Nice, Amsterdam and Valencia will enhance the airline’s summer flight timetable. Cologne/Bonn to Priština (Kosovo) and Stuttgart to Tunis and to Tirana (Albania) will also be added as new routes during the summer holiday period.

Swiss International Air Lines

Above Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 HB-IJS (msn 782) approaches the runway at London (Heathrow).

Swiss is adding 34 new destinations to its summer flight timetable in 2015. 22 of them will be served from Zurich, such as Leipzig, Bilbao (Spain) and Gothenburg (Sweden). Customers will be able to fly to 12 new cities from Geneva, including Valencia and Dublin. The frequency of flights to various European cities and to San Francisco will also be increased. Swiss will thus be offering its customers 106 destinations (80 European and 26 intercontinental) in 49 countries in the summer.

Austrian Airlines

Above Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 OE-LBR (msn 1150) arrives at Zurich.

In summer 2015, Austrian Airlines will be offering its passengers a wide range of up to 130 destinations in 58 countries. In 2015, the Austrian domestic carrier will be increasing its focus on holiday destinations. For example, Menorca (Balearics/Spain) will be newly added to the flight timetable in June 2015, as will Miami in October 2015. From summer 2015, all of Austrian’s destinations in North America will be served from Vienna up to daily. From March 2015, Odessa (Ukraine) will be included once again as another destination in Austrian’s focus market of Eastern Europe.

Brussels Airlines

Above Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Brussels Airlines Airbus A319-112 OO-SSQ (msn 3790) prepares to land in London’s Heathrow Airport.

This summer, Belgium’s leading carrier Brussels Airlines is adding ten new European destinations to its flight timetable from Brussels. These include destinations popular with tourists such as the three new French airports in Bordeaux, Lourdes-Pyrénées and Calvi (Corsica). Other holiday locations like Dubrovnik and Zagreb (both in Croatia), St. Petersburg (Russia), Olbia (Sardinia/Italy) and Ibiza (Balearics/Spain) will enhance the route network of Brussels Airlines. New city destinations such as Riga (Latvia) and Billund (Denmark) will be served by non-stop flights from Brussels. The carrier will also resume its long-haul service to Washington in the summer and its existing African route to Yaoundé (Cameroon) will operate daily.

Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-841 D-AIML (msn 149) is pictured on final approach at Miami International Airport.

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Etihad Airways to bring the Airbus A380 to New York

Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) is planning to introduce the new Airbus A380 on the Abu Dhabi-New York (JFK) route on December 1 per Airline Route. The A380 will operate on a daily basis.

Copyright Photo: Airbus A380-861 A6-APA (msn 166) taxies at London (Heathrow), the first destination for the new type.

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QANTAS Group reports a profit of A$206 million for the first six months

QANTAS Group (QANTAS Airways and Jetstar Airways) (Sydney) reported an underlying profit before tax of A$367 million ($286.6 million) and a statutory profit after tax of A$206 million ($160.8 million) for the fiscal six months ending on December 31, 2014.

CEO Alan Joyce commented on the results:

I am pleased to report the results so far of the fundamental business transformation that is underway at Qantas.

Qantas reported an underlying profit before tax of $367 million for the six months to December 2014, and a statutory profit after tax of $206 million.

This is a $619 million improvement over the same period last year at the underlying level.

The decisive factor in this result – our best half-year performance for four years – is our transformation program, which delivered $374 million in benefits in the first half.

Without the impact of transformation, Qantas would not be profitable today.

The other positive drivers in the results were:

$208 million from reduced depreciation;

$162 million from increased revenue per available seat kilometre;

$59 million from the removal of the carbon tax; and

$33 million from lower fuel prices.

This result confirms that we are executing the right plan with discipline and speed.

We are meeting, or exceeding, all our targets as we build a strong, sustainable future for Qantas and grow long-term shareholder value.

Since we announced our transformation program in December 2013 we have:

Lowered our cost base;

Grown free cash flow and revenue;

Improved fleet, product and service;

Strengthened customer satisfaction;

Reduced debt and strengthened the balance sheet;

Improved our return on invested capital;

Achieved our youngest fleet age in more than 20 years; and

Simplified the fleet from eleven to nine aircraft types, on the way down to seven.

What sets this program apart is that we are reducing costs permanently, while at the same time delivering Qantas’ best ever fleet, product and service.

We now have a strong foundation for sustainable growth.

I want to express my deep appreciation to the people of Qantas who have worked so hard to make this transformation succeed.

We have come together to protect this great Australian company and give it a sustainable future.

I also want to thank our customers.

We are delighted to repay their loyalty with even better Qantas experiences today, and more rewards to come in the future.

All parts of our business have contributed to this good result.

Qantas International was profitable for the first time since the GFC with underlying earnings of $59 million, a turnaround of $321 million over the same period last year.

Over the period it cut unit costs by almost 4 per cent while revenue increased by nearly 5 per cent.

The partnership with Emirates is now more than two years old and it continues to deliver.

We’ve seen exceptional customer satisfaction with our Dubai hub and increased range of destinations, which in turn has given us a significant competitive advantage.

With smarter fleet utilisation, Qantas has been able to offer new or additional capacity, including seasonal flights to Vancouver and additional services to LA, Santiago and Japan.

Our new A330 product and lounges in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Los Angeles have been met with acclaim.

In 2011 we set ourselves the task of getting Qantas International back into profit.

We expect to achieve that goal this year, on target.

Our domestic airline businesses performed well over the half – with total domestic profitability of just under $300 million.

The Qantas Group strengthened its position substantially in the domestic market.

Qantas Domestic reported an improvement of $170 million compared with the same period last year, with underlying earnings of $227 million.

With its unrivalled network, frequencies, lounges, and Loyalty program, Qantas Domestic retained an overwhelming 80 per cent revenue share of the Australian corporate market.

Looking at large corporate accounts, we recorded 113 renewals, 42 new accounts – with 16 of those won back from the competition – and just four lost.

Customer satisfaction with Qantas Domestic was at record levels in the December quarter.

The Jetstar Group continues to build scale and brand presence, flying to 66 destinations across 16 countries in the Asia-Pacific.

It reported underlying earnings of $81 million, an improvement of $97 million on the same period last year.

Domestically, Jetstar achieved earnings of $63 million, driven by improved yields and loads and a continued focus on managing costs and capacity

Strong Jetstar International earnings of $51 million reflected the benefits of a network restructure and the roll-out of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Qantas’ investments in the Jetstar-branded airlines in Asia will generate long-term returns in the world’s most important emerging markets.

These airlines improved their performance in the first half, relative to the prior period, with a $13 million reduction in Qantas’ share of losses.

Jetstar Asia in Singapore was profitable in the December quarter.

Both Qantas and Jetstar have won a string of awards and recognition for product, service and safety.

Qantas Loyalty continued its outstanding performance.

With 10 per cent earnings growth, Loyalty achieved underlying earnings of $160 million.

It attracted more than 400,000 new members in the half, to reach a new high of 10.5 million.

Continued innovation and investment in programs like the online mall, Aquire, and Qantas Cash card, have helped grow, diversify and maximise the customer base. They have brought in a younger demographic, with 60 per cent of new members aged 36 or younger.

Qantas Freight delivered underlying earnings of $54 million, a strong improvement which was driven by significant recovery in the international freight market – outweighing a challenging domestic market.

Overall, this result demonstrates the continuing strength in our portfolio of integrated Qantas Group businesses.

The Group’s financial position improved significantly with more than a billion dollars in cash generated from operations for the half, up nearly 45% on the prior year.

The outlook for the Group’s operating environment in the second half of this financial year has improved after a turbulent period.

Demand is mixed in the domestic market and steady in the international market.

Importantly, market capacity – both domestic and international – is moderating and aligning more closely to demand.

Yield and load factors have stabilised and are in the early stages of recovery.

Lower fuel and Australian dollar values have, overall, improved our competitive position.

While fuel prices produced a modest benefit in the first half, we expect fuel costs for the full year to be no more than $4 billion at current prices – which will be a significant boost to the bottom line in the second half.

And we expect all operating segments to be profitable in the full year.

The results are good and we take pride in our progress so far.

Transformation has been central to our recovery and we will drive it forward with all our energy.

It is about making ourselves strong and resilient through the ups and downs of economic cycles.

Over the next two years we will further strengthen the Qantas position.

We will be a company able to withstand tough times, capitalise on the good times, and deliver sustainable and attractive long term returns to our shareholders.

We will be a stronger integrated Group portfolio where each business complements the others, generating sustainable returns through the cycle.

We will always be the airline that represents the best of the Australian way of life.

And today we can see a bright future for this great Australian company.

Thank you.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Airbus A380-842 VH-OQJ (msn 062) taxies to the gate at London’s Heathrow Airport.

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Air France Airbus A380 passengers stranded in Manchester for nearly 7 hours

Air France (Paris) on Saturday (February 21) diverted its flight AF 007 from New York (JFK) to Paris (CDG) to Manchester. The prestigious flight was operated with an Airbus A380. The 460 people aboard the Air France flight were diverted to Manchester at 11.30 am (1130), but were not allowed off the Super Jumbo until around 6 pm (1800) on the same day.

It all started in New York, where passengers’ tempers were already being tried after flight AF 007 had been delayed from taking off by around four hours at New York while the aircraft had to be de-iced.

But once the aircraft entered UK airspace, the few hundred people were begging to get off.

The 4 hour delay meant that the flight crew would have exceeded their allowance of flying hours, so the captain decided to take a sommeil (pardon my French) in my beloved Manchester. At the time, Manchester was experiencing torrential rain, I might add.

The aircraft touched down at 11:30 am (UK time) and that is where it happened. Six and a half hours on the grounded plane with reported no food or water.

Air France had originally told passengers it would send a new crew to fly the plane onto its destination. However, while pre-flight checks were being carried out a technical fault was then discovered in the cabin. The airline then said it would fly three extra planes (two Airbus A318s and an A320) over to collect the passengers, but these relief aircraft took hours to arrive. After being eventually let off the double decker A380, passengers were taken to a waiting room near departures, where they say around 50 burgers were provided.

You can already imagine the tweets and statuses by the passengers. With the common denominators being “awful experience” and “worst flight of my life”.

The story that really shocks me is of a woman who’s destination was actually Manchester, but almost wasn’t allowed to end her journey prematurely.

She had been due to get a connecting flight back to Manchester from Paris – but refused to get on the later service and went home without her luggage.

The woman, who lives in south Manchester, told the Manchester Evening News: “They wouldn’t let us off the plane – I kept saying ‘I only live down the road, please can you let me off?

“But there were other people on there flying to all over Europe from Paris. There was no food whatsoever. There were kids who hadn’t eaten since leaving New York the previous day who had had no food.

“There was a lot of frustration on the flight, people were getting quite annoyed. Eventually, about 6 pm they let us off into a secluded area near departures and 50 Burger King burgers were sent down.”

“About 13 of us who live in the UK refused to get on the later flight to Paris so eventually they let us go, but our bags had to go on the original plane and I am still waiting to get my luggage back.”

Manchester Airport did not comment.

Air France said in a statement it “understands well the exasperation of its customers in this situation”.

Read more from The Telegraph: CLICK HERE

Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock reports from Manchester.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly with the special 80 Ans/Years logo, Airbus A380-861 F-HPJI (msn 115) no longer wears the special logo.

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Asiana Airlines to bring the Airbus A380 to New York JFK

Asiana Airlines (Seoul) will assign the Airbus A380 to the Seoul (Incheon) – New York (JFK) route starting on June 13 per Airline Route. As of July 14, the route will be exclusively operated with Airbus A380s.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-841 HL7625 (msn 152) arrives in Los Angeles.

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