Tag Archives: Airbus

Air Belgium takes delivery of its first Airbus A330neo

Air Belgium, the full-service international destination carrier headquartered in Mont-Saint-Guibert in Belgium, has taken delivery of the first of two Airbus A330-900 (OO-ABF, msn 1861).

The aircraft is configured with 286 seats in a three-class layout (30 comfortable lie-flat business class,  21 premium-class,  and 235 economy-class seats). The aircraft is furnished with the Airbus Airspace cabin. All seats are equipped with the latest-generation, in-flight entertainment system, on-board wifi and mood lighting.

Air Belgium will deploy the aircraft on routes connecting Brussels to long-haul destinations.

The Belgian carrier currently operates an all-Airbus widebody fleet comprising A330-200F and A340-300; the A340s will be gradually replaced by the A330neos.

Airbus and Air France target more energy efficient flights

Airbus, Air France and DSNA, the French Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), have begun working towards the development of “most energy efficient flights”, following their inaugural demonstration flight from Paris to Toulouse Blagnac on the day of the Airbus Summit event. The aircraft flew an optimized trajectory, marking the first of a series of trials planned during 2021 and 2022 within the framework of the Single European Sky ATM Research Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) “ALBATROSS” project.

Launched in February 2021, ALBATROSS is a large-scale initiative of major European aviation stakeholder groups led by Airbus. It aims to demonstrate, through a series of gate-to-gate live demonstration flights across Europe, the feasibility of implementing most energy efficient flights in the short term, by combining several R&D technical and operational innovations.

“ALBATROSS” follows an holistic approach by covering all flight phases, directly involving all relevant stakeholder groups (such as airlines, ANSPs, network managers, airports and industry) and addressing both operational and technological aspects of aviation and Air Traffic Management (ATM). Many solutions will be put into practice during the flight demonstrations, from new precision approach procedures to continuous climb and descent, a more dynamic management of necessary airspace constraints, sustainable taxiing and  sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) usage.

Thanks to the transmission of four-dimensional trajectory data, ATM will be able to optimize and better predict an aircraft’s trajectory, thereby enabling it to immediately and concretely reduce a flight’s environmental footprint.

Starting from September 2021, these live trials will involve around 1,000 demonstration flights, showcasing mature operational solutions with potential fuel and CO2 emission savings. First results are expected to be available in 2022.

The ALBATROSS partners are Airbus, Air France, Austro Control, DLR, DSNA, Eurocontrol, LFV, Lufthansa, Novair, Schiphol, Smart Airport Systems, SWEDAVIA, SWISS, Thales AVS France and WIZZ AIR UK.

The funding of the project is provided by the EU under the Grant Agreement No 101017678.

Airbus, Air Liquide and Vinci Airports announce a partnership to promote the use of hydrogen

Airbus, Air Liquide and Vinci Airports, three major players in the aviation, hydrogen and airport industries, are working together to promote the use of hydrogen at airports and build the European airport network to accommodate future hydrogen aircrafts. The airport of Lyon-Saint Exupéry (France) will host the first installations as early as 2023. This partnership reflects the three groups’ shared ambition to combine their respective expertise to support the decarbonization of air travel.

Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport (VINCI Airports’ center of excellence for innovation) has been chosen as the pilot airport by the partners. The implementation of this project includes several phases:

  • From 2023: deployment of a hydrogen gas distribution station at Lyon-Saint Exupéry airport. This station will supply both the airport’s ground vehicles (buses, trucks, handling equipment, etc.) and those of its partners, as well as the heavy goods vehicles that drive around the airport. This first phase is essential to test the airport’s facilities and dynamics as a “hydrogen hub” in its area of reach.
  • Between 2023 and 2030: deployment of liquid hydrogen infrastructures that will allow hydrogen to be provisioned into the tanks of future aircraft.
  • Beyond 2030: deployment of the hydrogen infrastructure from production to mass distribution of liquid hydrogen at the airport.

By 2030, the three partners will study the possibility of equipping VINCI Airports’ European airport network with the hydrogen production, storage and supply facilities needed for use on the ground and on board aircraft.

This partnership illustrates the partners’ shared commitment to decarbonizing air travel and is a major step forward for the development of hydrogen across the airport ecosystem. It relies on the know-how of Airbus in commercial aircraft, on Air Liquide’s expertise in mastering the entire hydrogen value chain (production, liquefaction, storage and distribution) and on the global reach of VINCI Airports, the leading private airport operator with 45 airports in 12 countries, which will help create the desired network.

Airbus and Air New Zealand to study potential for hydrogen-powered aircraft

Air New Zealand and Airbus have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate on a joint study to explore the potential for hydrogen-powered aircraft operations.

Under the agreement, Air New Zealand will analyze the impact hydrogen-powered aircraft may have on its network, operations and infrastructure. Meanwhile, Airbus will share expected aircraft  performance and ground operations characteristics to support Air New Zealand in its decarbonization roadmap.

Airbus is currently studying three concepts for hydrogen-powered aircraft, including a turboprop, turbofan and blended wing option. The company plans to bring a hydrogen-powered aircraft to the market by 2035.

Air New Zealand and Airbus to research future of hydrogen-powered aircraft in Aotearoa

Air New Zealand and aircraft manufacturer Airbus have today announced a joint initiative to research how hydrogen-powered aircraft could assist the airline with reaching its goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

In a first for the Asia-Pacific region, the two organizations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate on a joint research project to better understand the opportunities and challenges of flying zero-emission hydrogen aircraft in New Zealand.

Under the MoU, Air New Zealand will analyze the impact hydrogen aircraft may have on its network, operations and infrastructure, while Airbus will provide hydrogen aircraft performance requirements and ground operations characteristics to support Air New Zealand to develop its decarbonization roadmap.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran says the MoU is an exciting step towards understanding how hydrogen-powered aircraft could become a reality in New Zealand.

“This agreement brings us a step closer to our net zero emissions by 2050 commitment, and to realizing our aspiration to put low carbon solutions in place for our shorter domestic and regional flights in the next decade. New Zealand has a unique opportunity to be a world leader in the adoption of zero emissions aircraft, given the country’s commitment to renewable energy which can be used to generate green hydrogen and our highly connected regional air network.

“At this stage, both hydrogen and battery electric aircraft are still on the table as potential options for our shorter domestic flights, along with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for long haul operations. This research will help to inform future decision making as we work to decarbonize the airline.”

Air New Zealand Chief Operational Integrity and Safety Officer Captain David Morgan says the MoU is an opportunity for the airline to be part of the design and definition of how a hydrogen-powered aircraft might fit into its own operations.

“We’ll be working closely with Airbus to understand opportunities and challenges, including achievable flying range and what ground infrastructure or logistics changes may be required to implement this technology in New Zealand.”

Airbus Asia-Pacific President Anand Stanley says the company chose to work with Air New Zealand because of its commitment to sustainability, reputation for technical excellence and alignment with the manufacturer’s own decarbonization goals.

“This agreement with Air New Zealand will provide us with important insights about how we could put a zero-emission aircraft into service. The joint study will enable us to gain invaluable feedback on what airlines will expect and their preferences in terms of configuration and performance.

Airbus is currently looking at three concepts for hydrogen-powered aircraft, including a turboprop, turbofan and blended wing option.

Jet2.com switches to Airbus, orders 36 A321neos

Jet2.com has placed an initial order for 36 Airbus A321neos making the airline based in Leeds, United Kingdom, a new Airbus customer and a new Airbus A320neo Family operator. The order reflects Jet2.com’s ambitious fleet expansion and renewal plans. Engine selection will be made at a later date.

The aircraft will be configured for 232 seats with an Airspace cabin featuring innovative lighting, new seating products and 60 percent larger overhead baggage bins for added personal storage.

At the end of July 2021, the A320neo Family had won over 7,400 firm orders from over 120 customers worldwide.

Air Belgium’s first Airbus A330-900 (A330neo)

Airbus has released the first photos of Air Belgium’s first A330-900 which has rolled out of the paint shop.

The pictured F-WWKQ will become OO-ABG (msn 1861) on delivery.

A second (OO-ABF, msn 1844) will follow.

Photo: Airbus.

Qatar Airways is forced to ground 13 Airbus A350s due to “fuselage degradation”

Qatar Airways has issued this statement:

In addition to its regular checks to ensure the continued safety and security of its passengers and aircraft, Qatar Airways continues to closely monitor the significant condition across its Airbus A350 fleet in which the fuselage surface below the paint is degrading at an accelerated rate. The airline is working with its regulator to ensure the continued safety of all passengers and on this basis, and following the explicit written instruction of its regulator, thirteen aircraft have now been grounded, effectively removing them from service until such time as the root cause can be established and a satisfactory solution made available to permanently correct the underlying condition.

The safety and security of its passengers remains Qatar Airways’ primary concern. The airline will do all it can to also ensure that its passengers are not inconvenienced by the mandated removal of these aircraft from service and will endeavor to find alternative solutions to offer the usual high standard of service to all passengers. Qatar Airways has already taken action to return its A330 fleet into service with immediate effect to offset some of the impact of the grounded A350 aircraft and is presently looking at other solutions too.

In addition to the airline’s focus on protecting its reputation for offering the highest levels of customer experience, Qatar Airways is cooperating with all the leasing companies affected by this A350 grounding who have started to inspect their impacted aircraft.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “With this latest development, we sincerely expect that Airbus treats this matter with the proper attention that it requires.  Qatar Airways will not accept anything other than aircraft that continue to offer its customers the highest possible standard of safety and the best travel experience that they deserve.  Qatar Airways expects Airbus to have established the root cause and permanently corrected the underlying condition to the satisfaction of Qatar Airways and our regulator before we take delivery of any further A350 aircraft.”

Note: The specific aircraft have not been identified.

Air France prepares for the arrival of the first Airbus A220

Air France issued this statement:

  • The company’s first Airbus A220 has left the paint shop sporting the Air France livery,
  • This aircraft embodies the airline’s sustainability commitments with 20% less fuel used compared with the aircraft it is replacing and a 34% reduced noise footprint,
  • All the Air France crews are preparing to welcome this aircraft in September at Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

Air France is continuing to renew its fleet. At the end of September, the airline will take delivery of the first of the 60 Airbus A220-300s it has ordered to replace its Airbus A318s and A319s on the short and medium-haul network.

The first Airbus A220 designed for Air France recently left the Airbus paint shop in Mirabel, near Montreal. It sports the new Air France colors and notably features the winged seahorse, the airline’s historical symbol embodying its rich history, at the front of the fuselage.

As it is made with lighter composite materials, the Airbus A220 uses 20% less fuel than previous generation aircraft, and has a 34% reduced noise footprint. It will play a decisive role in achieving Air France’s sustainable development objectives, including a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions in absolute terms on the domestic network from Paris-Orly and on inter-regional routes by 2024 (1), and a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions per passenger/km by 2030(2).

Tests and crew training – flight safety of key importance in the preparation for the A220’s arrival

Before joining Paris to carry Air France customers, the aircraft will undergo a series of ground and in-flight tests. On its arrival, it will be used for more than a month to train the airline’s flight crews, some of whom began the so-called “type rating” process last summer.

As with every new type of aircraft entering the fleet, the company has set up two core groups, one made up of pilots and the other of flight attendants. These already qualified crew members will then be responsible for training their colleagues within the framework of in-house programs validated by the authorities.

Last September, eight instructor pilots attended an 8-week theoretical and practical training course at the Airbus training centre in Montreal. They are currently training their colleagues – including another 28 instructors who complete the pilot launch team – notably using a Full Flight Simulator (FFS) mounted on jacks, and assembled at Air France’s flight simulation centre at Paris-Charles de Gaulle. Once Air France takes delivery of the first aircraft, this simulator training will be supplemented by approximately 20 flights in real conditions, with a view to obtaining the A220-300 type rating. Close to 700 Air France pilots will eventually be qualified on this aircraft.

The same core group system is being used for cabin crews, with 14 flight attendants trained in Zurich between September and December 2020. They are currently finalizing the training manuals and content that they themselves will be responsible for providing as from September 2021. The core group has selected and trained a group of 37 flight attendants to complete the practical flight training of cabin crews as soon as the A220 enters service. Two A220 door models have been installed at the Air France Crew Academy at Paray Vieille-Poste, near Paris-Orly, to train some 2,500 flight attendants.

In addition to the pilots and flight attendants, the entire company is preparing to welcome the Airbus A220. From maintenance to station staff, all operational sectors are getting ready for the arrival of this latest-generation aircraft.

The Air France Airbus A220 will be able to welcome 148 passengers in a 3-2 cabin configuration. Each seat will be equipped with type A and type C USB ports and all passengers will enjoy Wi-Fi access from their personal devices.

Video:

flyadeal takes delivery of its first Airbus A320neo

flyadeal, the low-cost Jeddah-based airline owned by Saudi Arabian Airlines, has taken delivery of a brand new A320neo, the first out of 30 to be delivered in the next 3 years.

The aircraft is the first out of 65 A320neo family aircraft ordered by Saudi Arabian Airline at the Paris Airshow 2019, and will join flyadeal’s all Airbus fleet.

Powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines, the A320neo will offer flyadeal outstanding operational, economic and environmental performance.

flyadeal’s A320neo is configured with 186 seats in a comfortable all economy class layout. Passengers onboard the aircraft will benefit from the widest cabin of any single-aisle aircraft in the sky, as well as the latest cabin feature offering optimum passenger comfort.

The A320neo is the ideal aircraft for flyadeal to grow and expand its domestic and regional network. Demonstrating the operational flexibility of the A320neo, the aircraft will allow the airline to efficiently enhance its operations to additional networks and foster closer links with countries across the region and beyond.

The A320neo Family incorporates the very latest technologies including new generation engines, Sharklets and aerodynamics, which together deliver 20% in fuel savings and CO2 reduction compared to previous generation Airbus aircraft. The A320neo Family has received more than 7,400 orders from over 120 customers.