Eurowings Discover Prepares For Maiden Flight Tomorrow

The Lufthansa Group’s new subsidiary, Eurowings Discover, is set to launch tomorrow with its inaugural flight to Mombasa.…

Eurowings Discover Prepares For Maiden Flight Tomorrow

The Lufthansa Group’s new subsidiary, Eurowings Discover, is set to launch tomorrow with its inaugural flight to Mombasa. The airline will use an Airbus A330-200 for its first flight before heading on to Zanzibar as a tag flight.

Eurowings Discover is preparing to operate its maiden flight tomorrow. Photo: Eurowings Discover

The current situation has forced significant change across the Lufthansa Group. May old and large aircraft from across the group have been retired. However, it also brings a chance for new ventures. The Lufthansa Group expects business travel to take longer to recover and is thus targeting long-haul leisure travelers with a new offering.

The first flight plans

The first Eurowings flight is set to take to the skies tomorrow, heading south from Frankfurt Airport to Mombasa in Kenya. The flight will be quite a late departure from the airport. Flight 4Y134 is set to depart the Lufthansa Group’s Frankfurt stronghold at 19:35. The airline’s A330s have been flying across Europe in preparation over the last couple of weeks.

The aircraft will take some eight hours and 35 minutes to fly south to Kenya, where it is due to arrive at 05:10 on Sunday morning. Lufthansa has a codeshare for the flight, using the flight number LH4358 for the flight. The aircraft will then fly to Zanzibar and back before departing at 11:00. After an eight-hour 40 minute flight back to Frankfurt, the jet is expected to land at 18:40.

Eurowings Discover, Maiden Flight, Mombasa, Zanzibar
The flight will take around nine hours to get to Mombasa. Photo: Cirium

Expansion plans

While the airline currently has just two planes, expansion is definitely on the cards. Belonging to the Lufthansa Group, the airline doesn’t have to worry so much about a slow and steady growth period. PLAY CEO Birgir Jonsson recently told Simple Flying that this was key to starting a new airline.

Stay informed:  for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

By the end of the year, the airline hopes to add another ten aircraft for a total of 21 jets by summer 2022. Ten Airbus A320 aircraft will accompany 11 Airbus A330s. Each of these aircraft will come from the main Lufthansa Group fleet.

Eurowings Discover, Maiden Flight, Mombasa, Zanzibar
Eurowings Discover wants to operate 11 aircraft by the end of the year. Photo: Eurowings Discover

The right time to launch an airline?

The airline only received its Air Operators Certificate from the German Federal Aviation Authority on June 16th. Like the CEOs of PLAY and flypop, Eurowings Discover’s CEO, Wolfgang Raebiger, believes it is the perfect time to launch. He commented,

“The timing could not be better. People can finally travel again and we are all set to fly them to the world’s most beautiful destinations. We have built an airline in just one year – an ambitious goal that we have achieved with the great support from the entire Lufthansa Group, a motivated team and in close cooperation with the German Federal Aviation Authority. We wish to express our sincere gratitude to everyone.”

Simple Flying will be at Frankfurt Airport for the first Eurowings Discover departure tomorrow. Stay tuned for coverage of the first flight.

What do you expect to see from Eurowings Discover? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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In Photos: How An Airbus A330 Was Turned Into An Ocean Reef

We have seen plenty of unusual uses for retired aircraft over the years – including hotels, homes, and…

In Photos: How An Airbus A330 Was Turned Into An Ocean Reef

We have seen plenty of unusual uses for retired aircraft over the years – including hotels, homes, and restaurants. One of the more surprising though has to be Turkey’s project in June 2019 to sink an A330 in 30 meters of water to create an artificial reef. Similar previous projects with smaller aircraft have proved popular, and it is hoped this will be a big draw for scuba divers.

An A330-300 was sunk in four hours in June 2019. Photo: Getty Images

New life for a retired A330

The aircraft in question is an Airbus A330-300, last carrying the registration TC-OCB. It was originally delivered new to Hong Kong airline Dragonair in 1995 and transferred to the Turkey and Saudi Arabia-based airline Onur Air in 2010. It was retired in 2017, after almost 23 years in service.

Dragonair A330
The aircraft entered service as VR-HYA with Dragonair in 1995 before transferring to Onur Air in 2010. Photo: Aero Icarus via Wikimedia

Not uncommonly, there would have been little interest in the purchase of a widebody aircraft at this age. Rather than being scrapped, though, TC-OCB was saved in a joint project with Turkish authorities to sink the fuselage as an artificial reef. This would attract sea life to form a reef, and with it tourists and scuba divers.

Financial contributions for this came from Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP). Reports indicate that the company paid around $100,000 for the A330 airframe.

Stay informed:  for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

Sinking the aircraft

Any post-retirement project for a large aircraft is usually logistically challenging. So how then did the new owners go about getting this A330 to its underwater location?

The aircraft was stripped and dismantled in Antalya, Turkey, by the Turkish firm Skyair Shop. As with any aircraft recycling, this would remove many parts that could be reused or resold, as well as components that could be harmful to the marine environment. The result was a mostly empty airframe, with seats and galley components, cabling and electronic and all flight instruments removed.

A330 sinking 2019
The A330 was transferred by road to the port town of Ibrice to await its journey to sea. Photo: Getty Images

By March 2019, this was complete, and the aircraft was ready for transport to sea. The airframe was transported by six road trucks from Antalya to the northern port town of Ibrice in the northwestern Edirne province.

After some re-assembly at the port, it was floated out around half a mile into the sea. This took place with a special launch ceremony on June 14th. To sink the aircraft, floats supporting it were carefully deflated, allowing it to submerge.  According to local media, it took around four hours for the aircraft to become fully submerged.

A330 sinking 2019
The aircraft was taken out on floats and positioned for sinking. Photo: Getty Images

A boost for tourism

The aircraft will act as a diving and tourism attraction for the region. It has been purposely sunk in an ideal 30 meters of water for this purpose. The first dives took place just the day after the aircraft was sunk.

A330 sinking 2019
The potential of a boost to regional tourism was highlighted at the launch event. Photo: Getty Images

Ali Uysal, deputy governor of the province, highlighted the importance of scuba diving to the region during the launch ceremony. According to the Turkish media outlet Anadolu Agency, he explained that whilst an ordinary tourist may generate an income of between $500 and 600, a tourist coming for scuba diving generates between $2,000 and $3,000.

Not the only aircraft for divers

Incredible as this new reef and tourist attraction is, it is far from the first of its kind. The A330 joins several other aircraft in different locations in Turkish water. An A300 was sunk off the coast at Kusadasi in 2016, and a Douglas DC-2 was sunk in 2009.

It is also not the biggest aircraft submerged. In Bahrain, a Boeing 747 was sunk in 2019 to form the centerpiece of an underwater eco-park. This opened to divers soon after.

Underwater diving attractions are certainly some of the more unusual uses for retired aircraft. Have you ever dived such an attraction – or do you plan to visit this one? Let us know in the comments. 

Source : Simple Flying More   

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