Monday, 16 July 2018

Singapore Airlines to launch non-stop Singapore - Los Angeles flights

From November this year, Singapore Airlines has confirmed it will launch non-stop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles using the new Airbus A350-900ULR (ultra-long-range) aircraft. The airline also stated it will increase its non-stop flights to San Francisco from Singapore to 10 per week, which will bring the total US-bound flights for SIA to 27.

The first non-stop Los Angeles service will start on 2nd November and is scheduled to be flown three times a week initially. SQ38 will depart Singapore on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. When the second A350-900ULR enters service the schedule to Los Angeles will be increased to a daily operation from 9th November. Then from 7th December 2018, a further three services per week will be added, using the flight number SQ36, lifting total non-stop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles to 10 times per week.

With the introduction of non-stop services between Singapore and Los Angeles, SIA’s existing one-stop service to Los Angeles via Seoul will come to an end on 30th November 2018. Singapore-Seoul frequency will be maintained at four flights per day with the introduction of a new Singapore-Seoul return flight from 1 December 2018, operating as flight SQ612. Together with SIA’s current daily one stop service to Los Angeles via Tokyo, Los Angeles will be served 17 times per week.

London City Airport welcomed Embraer's E190-E2

Last week London City Airport played host to the latest aircrtaft from The Brazillian manufacturer,  Embraer, with its E190-E2. The aircraft landed for the first time at the airport in the city of London on a promotional visit on its way to Farnborough for the air show

The visit demonstrates the ability of the Embraer E190-E2 to operate the steep arrival and departure requirements dictated by London City Airports position.   “For Embraer, London City feels like home, wherever you look, our aircraft are there. So it’s a big moment for us to bring the newest generation Embraer jet to this important European hub. We know that passengers will love the new aircraft, still with no middle seats and featuring larger overhead bins, and Londoners will also appreciate the quietness of the aircraft and its low emissions.” said Arjan Meijer, Chief Commercial Officer, Embraer Commercial Aviation.

Richard Hill, Chief Commercial Officer at London City Airport, said: “to welcome the Embraer E2 to London City Airport for the first time is a crucial milestone towards certification and subsequent commercial operation at London’s most central airport. The first generation of E-Jets have been intrinsic to London City’s growth, so much so that up to three quarters of all passengers now land or depart on the aircraft. As we continue a £480m transformation, due for completion in 2022, the E2 has enormous potential for London City, with proven ability to operate with less noise, fewer emissions, and better fuel efficiency to open up new destinations, delivering significant benefits for our airline customers, passengers and local neighbours.”

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Mitsubishi Aircraft's MRJ90 arrives at Farnborough

The MRJ90 from Mitsubishi Aircraft has arrived in Farnborough ahead of the air show resplendent in the livery of ANA All Nippon Airways, 

The flight test aircraft will be making its flying display debut at the show on later on Monday. The aircraft had flown in from is flight testing base in Moses Lake in the USA via Bangor, Maine and Reykjavik, Iceland. 

Mitsubishi Aircraft is keen to show off the new aircraft and are hoping to get it into service with ANA in early 2020 and are hoping for interest from other carriers. It's believed the aircraft will also take part in the flying programme each day of the air show.

More Airbus aircraft for Viva Aerobus?

Airbus will be announcing a repeat order for 40 A320neo family aircraft from Viva Aerobus during the Farnborough Air Show, according to a number of sources at the European planemaker.

At list prices the potential order would be worth around $1.4billion, however, a repeat customer discount would apply as Viva Aerobus has already ordered some 52 Airbus aeroplanes, and has a fleet of  22 Airbus A320ceo and 4 Airbus A320neo. 

Viva Aerobus is the leading low-cost airline in Mexico flying a fleet of modern aircraft and are rapidly grown all across Latin America.  The airline started flying on 30th November 2006, with the first flight being between Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, and Leon, Guanajuato.  So far the airline has carried some 32 million passengers and operates 115 daily flights on over 60 routes and employs over 1100 people.

Viva Aerobus matra is "always safe, always reliable and always low prices."  and has recently announced the launch of another two domestic routes: Toluca-Cancun and Toluca- Monterrey. Both routes will start on19th October 19. The Cancun service will fly 3 times a week while the Monterrey route will have 4 flights a week. 

(Photos Viva Aerobus)

Airlines halt services to Najaf, Iraq over security fears

Royal Jordanian, the national airline of Jordan and the UAE's Flydubai have both suspended flights to the Iraqi city of Najaf due to the security situation at the airport.

Jordan's state airline confirmed it was suspending its four weekly flights to the Iraqi city on Sunday, it is the ninth city in the region it has had to halt to due fighting and turmoil in recent times. Some of the other destinations it has removed from its schedule include Mosul, Aden and Sanaa.

Flydubai has suspended its daily flight to the Najaf city on a temporary basis, initially until at least 22nd July and follows the security issues around the city that caused the airport to close on Friday. Both airlines have said they will continue to monitor the situation.   Najaf is among a number of cities in the south of Iraq that have seen days of protests over poor services and against official corruption. 

Philippine Airlines welcomes first Airbus A350

During a special ceremony in Toulouse, France, Jaime J. Bautista, President & COO of Philippine Airlines cut the ribbon and took delivery of the airlines first A350 XWB.

Philippine Airlines has ordered six A350-900s, which it intends to use mainly on routes to North America and Europe and is the  19th airline to operate the world’s most modern and efficient long range airliner.  Currently, the longest route Philippine Airlines operates is Manila to New York, a distance of over 8,000 miles and takes around 17 hours and previously needed a technical stop in Vancouver, however, thanks to the A350, the carrier will now be able to operate the route with no stops!

Philippine Airlines has decided to configure its A350-900s in a three-class arrangement, 30 seats that convert to fully flat beds in Business Class, 24 seats offering extra space in Premium Economy and 241 18-inch wide seats in the main economy cabin.  One of the many features on the A350 is the Airspace by Airbus cabin, with more personal space and full connectivity throughout. The cabin is the quietest of any twin aisle aircraft and features the latest mood lighting and air conditioning systems. Higher humidity levels and a lower cabin altitude all contribute to added well-being on board, especially for long range flights.

A350 to fly to Philadelphia for Qatar Airways.....just once!

The OneWorld alliance member Qatar Airways has informed us that they will put one of the airlines Airbus A350 aircraft on the Doha - Philadelphia route - but just for one day only!

The brand new aircraft will fly from Doha at 0800 on 23 July operating flight QR727 and should arrive at Philadelphia at 1445 local time.  The return sector is scheduled for 2100 departure, which arrives in Doha the next day at 1646 flight QR728.

Air France celebrates

In 2018, Air France has received three awards for the quality of its service and its wines in La Première and Business class cabins.

Condé Nast Traveler’s “Gold List

Air France features in the “Gold List” of the “World’s Best Airlines 2018”, drawn up by Condé Nast Traveler magazine. In total, 6 lists rewarding different tourism industry players have been published following votes by more than 12,000 magazine readers and evaluation by 20 professionals.

La Première takes first place

Ai France has obtained the title of “Best selection of wines 2018 for an airline” and been awarded “Three Glasses” (following the example of the Michelin Guide’s stars awarded to chefs) for its wine selection in La Première cabin by “China’s Wine List 2018”. Paolo Basso, voted world’s best sommelier in 2013 and wine experts Bettane and Desseauve, authors of the French Wine Guide, sign the wine and Champagne list in the La Première cabin.  The Business cabin also received “Two Glasses” for its wine selection.

Top 10 best international airlines

Air France is included in the “10 best international airlines 2018” ranking, drawn up by Tsinghua university’s Digi-Talk Tourism Forum. This forum brings together researchers and professionals from around the globe along with companies including Facebook, Google, Baidu and Weibo.

More choice, more discounts on Etihad's Extraordinary Abu Dhabi Pass

If you are heading to Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways you'll now have even more to do, thanks to the airlines Extraordinary Abu Dhabi Pass, as they are adding more restaurants, leisure attractions and a five-star hotel, to provide visitors arriving in Abu Dhabi with more exclusive discounts and special offers.  

Extraordinary Abu Dhabi Pass offers 20 percent discounts off various dining outlets in Yas Mall, including Fish & Co, Mr Greek, Al Fanar and more. Visitors will also be able to get 20 percent discount on Leisure Train Tourism tours in Al Ain and a generous a massive 50 percent off Hala Abu Dhabi tours, including the Story of Abu Dhabi City Tour, Morning Desert Drive and Desert Sunset Drive & BBQ experiences.

Tim Burnell, Etihad Airways Vice President of Marketing, said: “Etihad is delighted to increase the number of exclusive discounts available with The Extraordinary Abu Dhabi Pass. Guests now have even more offers and opportunities to explore Abu Dhabi for less this summer, and discover for themselves the wealth of exciting opportunities our dynamic capital, and wider emirate has to offer.”

To qualify for discounts or special offers, all Etihad Airways passengers have to do is show their boarding pass (branded or non-branded) at the participating retailers to receive the discount.

Miracle Flights Announces Strong Start to Fiscal Year 2019

Miracle Flights, the leading US medical flight charity, reported this week its latest figures, 1,216 free flights provided to sick children since the start of its new fiscal year May 1. Established in 1985, the Las Vegas–based national nonprofit organization has to date provided more than 118,000 free flights and flown over 66 million miles to help children with rare and life-threatening illnesses gain access to specialized medical care far from home.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Ryanscare - 33 Ryanair passengers hospitalised after cabin pressure loss

Ryanair stand accused of abandoning passengers after a flight falls 26,000 feet in just seven minutes following cabin pressure loss, leaves more than 30 people needing hospitalisation.

The Ryanair flight FR7312 had been heading to Zadar, Croatia from Dublin when the cabin lost pressure and the crew made an emergency descent, going down 26,000 feet in just under seven minutes. 

The crew diverted the plane to Frankfurt-Hahn Airport in Germany, where 33 of the passengers, some bleeding from the ears or nose and mouth needed to have hospital treatment in Frankfurt. 

Ryanair tried to downplay the situations, first saying oxygen masks were deployed as a precaution, and the crew carried out a "controlled descent" and then "landed normally and customers disembarked, where a small number received medical attention as a precaution".

New Delta route between Raleigh Durham and Chicago

The American regional airline Skywest will open a new route for Delta Air Lines - Delta Connection, between Raleigh-Durham International Airport, North Carolina to Chicago's O'Hare Airport.

The route will start on 2nd April 2019 with Skywest Embraer E175 aircraft and is scheduled to operate three times a day, except for Saturdays, when only two flights each way will operate.

According to the schedule, the flights will depart at 0700, 1230 and 1759 from Raleigh, arriving in Chicago at 0820, 1350 and 1919.  The returns from Chicago are scheduled for 0855, 1425 and 1955 landing in Rayleigh 1155, 1725 and 2255. The last flight of the day is scheduled not to operate on a Saturday. 

LOT Polish Airlines to start Tel Aviv - Krakow route

Star Alliance member LOT Polish Airlines has this week confirmed it will be starting a new service from Krakow to Israel's Tel Aviv from 25th February 2019.

The airline tells us that tickets are on sale now and the route will be operated by a Boeing 737 - 800 aircraft and initially will fly twice a week. 

The new service will start off flying on Monday's and Wednesday's however, from 22nd April the days will change to Tuesday's and Thursday's.  Currently, the schedule will see the 787-800 depart Krakow at 0550, arriving Tel Aviv 1025 with the return leg departing 2115 landing back in Krakow 2359, all times local and subject to change. 
Photo Jacek Bonczek

Friday, 13 July 2018

Another BA 777 suffers engine failure in flight

A British Airways jet suffered an engine failure shortly after taking off from Singapore and needed to dump fuel urgently to return to the airport on one engine.

The Boeing 777-300ER, with the registration G-STBE was operating flight BA16 to London Heathrow and had just taken off from Singapore and was climbing over Malaysia when the incident happened today.  Passengers on the flight report feeling a shuddering and other vibrations but remained calm.  

The pilot announced shortly after that the right-hand engine had malfunctioned and they were going to return to Singapore after dumping some fuel to lighten the aircraft to enable it to be able to land. Fire crews greeted the aircraft as soon as it had turned off the runway and inspected it. Shortly afterwards, the aircraft taxied to a departure gate where passengers were able to disembark the aircraft. 

Ryanair at war with Lufthansa over Laudamotion

A war of words has broken out between two major European airlines this week with one accusing the other of telling lies.

Ryanair and Lufthansa have both issued press briefings today attacking each other over Laudamotion - the airline set up by Niki Lauda from the ashes of the Air Berlin with the express intention of selling it off to Ryanair.

In an expected rubber stamping exercise the EU Commission approved Ryanair’s proposed acquisition of a 75 percent interest in Austrian airline of which it already owns 24.9 percent.

The Irish low-fare-high-fee airline welcomed the move, but then attacked Lufthansa by saying that the German carrier was trying to remove the 9 aircraft it had to lease to Laudamotion to get the airline off the ground. They said "This is the latest in a series of efforts by Lufthansa to destabilise and damage Laudamotion, which has seen:

– Lufthansa fail to deliver 2 of the 11 aircraft they were required to under the EU Competition decision concerning Lufthansa’s acquisition of Air Berlin.
– Some of the aircraft that Lufthansa had committed to deliver being delayed until after the summer 2018 season, further reducing Laudamotion’s ability to take up slots and offer S2018 flights and services.
– Laudamotion only able to operate a 19 aircraft fleet in summer 2018 by wet leasing 10 B737 aircraft from Ryanair.
– Lufthansa Group delay payment of over €1.5m of wet lease payments properly due to Laudamotion, for flights which Laudamotion operated for Lufthansa in March, April and May."

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