Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Lufthansa's first Airbus A320 with Sharklets visits Dublin Airport

Picture: Courtsey of Joe Heeney

Lufthansa's first Airbus A320 equipped with Sharklets D-AIZP A320-214(WL) c/n 5457 was delivered Hamburg Finkenwerder to Frankfurt on 1st March, becoming the first European carrier to benefit from the fuel saving wing-tip devices and is due to receive a further 21 Airbus A320 Family aircraft equipped with Sharklets by 2015.

The aircraft paid it's first visit to Dublin on Monday 11th March operating DLH982 from Frankfurt and departed several hours later than schedule on Tuesday 12th March operating DLH983 at 0845 due to adverse weather conditions in Frankfurt. Lufthansa plans to use the aircraft on longer European routes so they should become a familiar sight in Dublin Airport.

Sharklets are made from light-weight composites and are 2.4 meters tall. They are an option on new-build A320 Family aircraft and standard on all members of the new A320neo family. They offer operators up to 4% fuel-burn reduction on longer range sectors and provide the flexibility of either adding an additional 100 nautical miles range or increased payload capability of up to 450 kilograms.

Airbus has delivered A320 Sharklets to Air Arabia, Air Asia, Avianca, Cebu Pacific, GoAir, Jetstar Japan and JetBlue Airways signed a contract to refit its fleet with Sharklets.

Things with Wings Commercial Aviation Blog quoted Airbus COO John Leahy plans to deliver all new Airbus A320s from 2014-15 will be fitted with Sharklets as standard.

In Summer 2013 Lufthansa will operate 27 weekly flights from Ireland: Dublin to Dusseldorf service twice a week on a Saturday and Sunday and Frankfurt 21 times weekly and Munich three times weekly on Wednesday, Saturdays and Sundays and Ireland West Airport to Dusseldorf weekly on Saturdays.

                                                 

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 13th March 2013 All Rights Reserved.

Gulf Air Airbus A330s visit Dublin Airport

Picture: Courtesy of Paul Doyle 
Last Monday and Saturday four Gulf Air Airbus A330-200s transited through Dublin Airport en route from Bahrain to Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States on return to lessor, ground handing services where provided by Sigma Aviation Services. Lakes Charles is home to EADS Aeroframe Services LLC, an EADS Sogerma Services company,providing a full range of maintenance and modification services for all Airbus aircraft types.

Gulf Air Airbus A330-200s have been previously where regular visitors to Dublin on its twice weekly schedule service from Bahrain between December 2005 and July 2007 prior to being axed as part of route network re-structuring and on maintenance checks with SR Technics.

A9C-KG Airbus A330-243 c/n 527 Gulf Air Ferried Bahrain-Dublin-Chennault International (Lake Charles) 9/03/13 Returned to lessor. GFA9905 arrived Dublin 0830 departed 1434.

A9C-KH Airbus A330-243 c/n 529 Gulf Air Ferried Bahrain-Dublin-Chennault International (Lake Charles) 9/03/13 Returned to lessor. GFA9907 arrived Dublin 0907 departed 1340.

A9C-KI Airbus A330-243 c/n 532 Gulf Air Ferried Bahrain-Dublin-Chennault International (Lake Charles) 11/03/13 Returned to lessor. GFA9909 arrived Dublin 0854 departed 1124.

A9C-KJ Airbus A330-243 c/n 992 Gulf Air Ferried Bahrain-Dublin-Chennault International (Lake Charles) 11/03/13 Returned to lessor. GFA9911 arrived Dublin 0922 departed 1218.

Thank you to Gerry Barron, Joe Heeney, Paul Doyle, Sean Flynn, Skyliner Aviation.de for their assistance providing information and pictures for this post.

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 13th March All Rights Reserved.

Irish Air Traffic declines by 6.9% in February expected long-term growth

Picture: Courtesy of Adam Ryan 
Irish Aviation Authority announced the total flights in Irish airspace in February 2013 decreased by -5.3%, when compared to February 2012. There was an average of 1,227 daily flights during February 2013, with the busiest day being 22nd February with 1,369 flights in Irish airspace. The February 2012 figure was a leap year making direct comparisons with February 2013 slightly distorted.

There was a decrease of -6.9% in Ireland’s en route traffic movements (flights that pass through Irish airspace but do not land) during February 2013, in comparison to February 2012. Similarly, North Atlantic Communications flights (Europe /North America flights) saw a decrease of -7.2% in February 2013, when compared to February 2012.

The February 2013 figures for the three State airports, when compared to the same month in the previous year are:

Cork Airport: -2.1% with an average of 49 commercial daily movements.

Dublin Airport:  -1.6%, with an average of 382 commercial daily movements.

Shannon Airport: -17%, with an average of 44 commercial daily movements.

According to the latest air traffic forecast published by Eurocontrol while 2013 is forecast to be a challenging year for Irish air traffic figures, the outlook for the seven year period is for an average of 2.5% growth per year up to 2019 as the economic growth is expected to return.

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 13th March 2013 All Rights Reserved.