In 4 weeks (on March 25, 2018), Lufthansa will finally begin deploying their A380s in Munich with flights to Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and Beijing. Though that is not ‘new’ news, LH did provide an update today regarding the logistics at the airport when it comes to gates and security screening. Considering the A380 can carry twice the amount of passengers as the typical long-haul planes LH currently uses in MUC, it was obvious that certain things needed to change at security screening and the gates that LH will use for the A380.
According to Lufthansa, the A380 will use gates H47 and H48 located inside Terminal 2, and gates L11 and L13 that are located in the new Satellite terminal. In addition, gates L24/26 and L28/30 are retrofitted with a 3rd passenger bridge that will give passengers direct access to the upper deck.
Munich Airport and Lufthansa have also adjusted the security screening process to make it a bit easier to get through security and to the gate as a result of having substantially more passengers boarding the A380 as compared to other aircraft that usually use Terminal 2 and the Satellite Terminal.
Current plans call for LH to utilize 5 A380 aircraft in Munich to cover these initial routes.
A few days ago, Austrian updated their timetable to reflect frequency changes to Hong Kong and aircraft changes on flights to Newark.
The changes are slated to take effect for the Winter 2018/19 schedule so they’re still subject to additional adjustments, but as it stands today here’s what will be happening:
Beginning October 28, Vienna – Hong Kong will increase from 3x/week to 4x/week.
Beginning October 28, flights between Vienna and Newark will be flown by their 777 and 767 aircraft. The 4 weekly flights between VIE and EWR will be split between the 2 aircraft types. Specific days for each type have not been assigned as yet.
One of my favorite airports is getting a facelift…..
Earlier this month, an 18-year long project kicked off that will add a much needed runway to Hong Kong Int’l Airport (HKG). The construction began after years of regulatory process and public protest, going back to 2008.
The plans call for a parallel runway to compliment the 2 existing East-West runways. The new expansion will include the reclamation of land to the north of the airport that will take at least 4 years. At that point, the existing northern most runway will be modified to act as a center runway and the construction of a 3rd runway will begin. Up to 3 new passenger concourses will also be built that will link by rail to the existing concourses.
A new northern runway complex goes online in 2024
It looks like the southern runway will become a dedicated Cargo runway since it is adjacent to Hong Kong’s Cargo ‘city’ thus freeing up the existing north runway and the planned new runway to handle passenger traffic.
For planespotters, it means the favorite spot by the fire-boat dock by the maintenance facilities won’t be as good when the 3rd runway opens since it will take traffic at least 1/2 mile further away from the vantage point, but I suspect the new concourses will make up for the lack of views from the docks.
The new look of HKG….rendering courtesy of Hong Kong Airport Authority
The construction will last until 2024 and financing for the HK$142 billion ($18.3 billion USD) project is comprised of funds from the Government, Airport revenue and a series of new surcharges that passengers are already being assessed if they travel to OR through the airport. First Class and Business Class passengers on long haul flights will pay HK$180 ($23.00 USD) while long haul Economy passengers will pay $HK160 ($20.50 USD). Short haul Economy Class passengers will pay HK$90 ($12.00 USD) while transiting passengers regardless of class will pay HK$70 ($9.00 USD).
The following video provides a simulated look at what the expansion will look like once complete:
I know for some of you that your travel plans are occasionally dictated by what aircraft will fly the route. I know I do it.
So in that spirit, here is a brief update on a small revision issued by SWISS concerning their 777 flying to Bangkok. Originally the aircraft was to debut on the route on July 8 but has now been set back to July 15. Only a week, but if that is your week, you might not be a happy camper.
As far as Hong Kong is concerned, the 777 is set to debut as scheduled on April 10, but initially it will not fly the route everyday. Between April 10 and May 1, the 777 will only fly from Zurich on Wednesday, Friday, and Sundays. Between May 2 and May 19, the 777 will fly on Monday, Wednesday, Thursdays, and Saturdays. However on May 20 the 777 will begin flying to Hong Kong on a daily basis.