In a few hours I’ll be off to MUC for what promises to be a very A350-centric week.
After clearing the hurdle of an 11 hour layover in Chicago, I’ll head to Munich where a week-long list of Lufthansa related business and activities awaits.
The week will peak with the special ‘Roll In’ event scheduled for February 2 during which the first handful of ‘civilians’ will be able to step aboard the A350 before she enters service the following week. The invitation-only event will take place inside a hangar at the airport and if it’s anything like the 747-8i ‘Roll In’ event held in 2012 in Frankfurt, it promises to be a great evening. Expect to see several posts covering that event both here and on LH’s social media outlets.
Of course, no trip to Munich is complete without plane spotting from within and around MUC, so expect to see a handful of spotting posts from a variety of different perspectives from around the airport.
Hopefully I’ll be allowed back into the US a week from now. 😉
In a short while now, Lufthansa’s first A350 will take off from the runway at Airbus’ complex in Toulouse and head for Munich where she is due to arrive at approximately about 2 hours later. This delivery flight will mark the long awaited beginning of the A350 fleet that will initially be based in Munich.
The ‘keys’ to the plane were officially handed over to Lufthansa on Monday after completing the paperwork that transferred ownership of the airplane from Airbus to Lufthansa.
Lufthansa is currently live streaming the event, and you can watch it here while it is taking place (If there is no feed, that means that they have stopped broadcasting). You can also check their Facebook Portal for additional video as they make it available.
German Avgeeks In For a Treat!
For those of you living near major airports around Germany, you’ll have a chance to see the airplane in person as she will do a wide series of take offs and landings at airports around the country. This is done in order to give cockpit crew ample time to gain certification for flying the aircraft. You can find that the initial training flight schedule here.
D-AIXA going through test flights in Toulouse. Photo courtesy of Airbus.
After delivery, LH Technik will take time to install the aircraft’s cabin interior in Munich ahead of it’s debut on the route between Munich and Delhi on February 10.
Before entering ‘revenue service’, LH will show off ‘D-AIXA’ at an invitation only ‘Roll In’ event in Munich that I will be attending on February 2. From there, Lufthansa will have the A350 fly a special pair of flights from Munich to Hamburg and back on February 9 right before it departs for Delhi on the 10th.
In association with Frankfurt Airport, Lufthansa Technik will be hosting an open house in one of their cavernous hangars at Frankfurt Airport on November 24 from 6:00p to 8:30p (local FRA time). The specific hangars that will be open are the hangars on the north side of the airport, nearest the passenger terminals. It is here where most of the Frankfurt-based fleet is serviced including the A330, A340, Boeing 747-400 and 747-8i, along with the narrow body Airbuses.
In order to attend you have to register in advance by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Space is limited so not every registration will be accepted.
In the email, please provide your first and last name, date and location of birth as well as your current address.
According to the conditions, attendees must be at least 16 years old. Due to the nature of the hangars, persons with disabilities or who have trouble with mobility will not be able to attend.
The deadline to register is November 6 at midnight (local FRA time). Successful applicants will be notified on November 7.
Later this year, Lufthansa will begin its rollout of Broadband Access across all of their medium and short-haul aircraft. Beginning in October, and taking until mid-2018, LH will retrofit their A319, A320, and A321 aircraft so that passengers can enjoy in-flight connectivity using their own smart-devices to access the system. Since the 737 will be retired from the fleet this year, it will not be part of the expansion.
According to LH, their Technik division is the first MRO in Europe to receive certification for installing the necessary technology aboard Airbus narrow body aircraft.
Certain aircraft have already been retrofitted with this capability so that systems can be tested before the public is able to use it beginning in October.
Lufthansa Group plans to roll this out to other LH Group Airlines, so expect to see SWISS, Austrian, and Brussels to have the same capability.
A future update will allow passengers to use their cellphones to sent and receive text messages using their own cellphone plans.
Lufthansa announced today that they will begin to roll out Broadband connectivity to all aircraft that fly LH’s medium and short haul routes. If all goes to plan, the first aircraft will have this ability starting in Summer of 2016.
According to LH, they will first airline in Europe to offer passengers the ability to connect to the internet for browsing, email and streaming access with speeds similar to what you would see at home.
In addition, Passengers will also be able to use the service to access their own mobile data plan for texting. Voice calls will thankfully not be permitted!
The new system will be provided by Inmarsat and will be installed and maintained by Lufthansa Technik.