Monday, 20 August 2018

The first 787-8 Dreamliner arrives in Bangladesh

                               The first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner for Biman Bangladesh Airlines arrived in the country yesterday and was welcomed to the fleet by the airlines' management and staff.

The aircraft landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka at 05.19 on 19th August after a direct 14½ flight from Boeing's Seattle base.  It was welcomed with a traditional water cannon salute from the airports fire service and many of the airlines' employees. The aircraft has been called Akashbina.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines signed a $ 2.1 billion deal in 2008 for the purchase of 10 new aircraft - including four Dreamliners with Boeing. The carrier will receive another example in November this year and another two Dreamliners are due to arrive in September next year.  Biman Managing Director and CEO AM Mosaddiq Ahmed said, "The airline added a new milestone by joining the Dreamliner skyline. Biman seeks to provide safe and comfortable services to passengers. The new aircraft will assist the airline in competition with other airlines."

SA Express to restart operations on Thursday.

SA Express has confirmed it will be resuming its flying operations from this Thursday, 23rd August 2018, following recent news that both the airline’s Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) and Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO) licenses by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) had been reinstated.

The South African regional airline has also already received Certificates of Airworthiness for most of its 11 aircraft from SACAA, with the remaining fleet expected to be given the green light in the next few days.

Canada's Flair Airlines adds new US routes for winter 2018

Canada's only independent low fare carrier, Flair Airlines has announced today that it will be introducing non-stop flights to six popular U.S. destinations for this winter.  

The new routes will greatly extend Flair's already rapidly growing route network, to Florida's Orlando International Airport, St. Pete-Clearwater (Tampa Bay) and Miami as well as to Palm Springs, Las Vegas and Phoenix-Mesa Airport.

"The majority of our new services concentrate on Edmonton and Winnipeg," said David Tait, Flair's Executive Chairman; "Having brought low fare service to 10 Canadian cities this summer, we are now taking the show on the road and heading south to some of the most popular winter getaway spots: Escaping the great Canadian winter will cost a lot less this year."

New bright uniforms for Sichuan Airlines

As part of its "Panda Route" international flight development programme, Sichuan Airlines has unveiled newly-designed cabin crew uniforms this week.

The classic red-and-black design symbolizing passion and rationality aims to promote the airline's image and raise its profile on the global stage.

Inspired by Sichuan Airlines' theme colour, "Sichuan red," the ladies' new uniform is composed of a red one-piece, a black blazer, a red blazer, a black winter wool coat and a black hat. The gentleman's uniform features a white shirt with red stripe design and a splash of red on the blazer pocket to echo the ladies' dress.

The airline now owns the largest Airbus fleet in China with a total of 134 aircraft so far which is increasing with the arrival of the new A350s. The carrier is a growing force in the Chinese aviation industry, with 270 "Panda Routes" connecting Asia, Europe, Oceania and North America. The airline carries more than 29 million passengers each year.

Passenger numbers up for Ural Airlines as codeshare deal with Belavia starts

Photo Ural Airlines

Ural Airlines saw passenger numbers increase over the first seven months of this year to 4,943,434, a rise of 16 percent over 2017 figures. 

The airline operated some 34,460 flights during the first half of the year,  almost half of which - 15,203 were on international routes. The carrier also had a busy July, transporting 1,002,962 passengers on 6,328 flights during the month.  Of those 440,310 were on 2,716 international flights.

Turkish Airlines gets first 737-Max 8 as profits rise to USD 258 million

The national airline of Turkey, Turkish Airlines has recently taken delivery of its first Boeing 737 Max 8 from a massive order of 40 Max 8s, 10 Max 9s and 20 737-800s.

The airline also posted a 30 percent increase in revenue for the first half of the year over the same period last year.  The carrier achieved a record USD 6 billion following a remarkable growth performance in 2017. Turkish Airlines also managed to increase both passenger and cargo revenue in the first half of 2018. 

During the first half of the year, Turkish Airlines managed to increase net operating profit up from USD 17 million to USD 258 million, due to the increasing demand and unit revenues despite the increasing fuel prices.

First A320neo arrives for Gulf Air

The Arabian Gulf region has a new exotic mechanical bird in its skies from today as the flag carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Gulf Air took delivery of its first A320neo today. 

CFM LEAP-1A engines power the technologically advanced passenger jet which made its maiden journey from Toulouse to Bahrain, landing at the Bahrain International Airport at 16:00 local time.

The aircraft is the first of the 29 A320neo Family of aircraft ordered during the 2016 Bahrain International Airshow and makes Gulf Air the first Middle Eastern national carrier to fly the A320neo.

There are 28 other Airbus aircraft in the Gulf Air fleet and the latest addition will blend in perfectly with the current operations, thanks to Airbus’ overall fleet commonality. Gulf Air will also benefit from low operating costs, optimum fuel efficiency and seamless, best-in-class passenger comfort of any single aisle aircraft.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Is this the best business jet in the world?

Forget your Cessna Citation, your Honda Jet or your Gulfstream G550, this business jet is head and shoulders above those and countless others on the market. There is little doubt this business jet it is the height of airborne luxury, that affords more space per 76 passengers than any other aircraft in the sky.  It's got the plushest of leather seats, the plumpest of king size beds, a fourteen place dining table, an office that rivals that of Air Force One, a bathroom that is as big as our office - in fact, its got 10 of them! It's also got a number of staterooms or lounges, comes complete with the latest entertainment system from Panasonic to ensure you'll never be bored in your flying palace. 

This business jet also has its own mini-hospital should you get a scrape or a headache or something a little more serious. There are three galleys and work areas giving the 18 strong crew plenty of space to cater for your every whim. 

Unlike most business jet's this one has four engines and a range of more than 9000 miles. It is just a couple of inches over  250 feet long and 63½ feet high and cruises along at over 900 kilometres an hour. It is a Boeing 747-8 BBJ (Boeing Business Jet) its commercial counterparts regularly carry more than 400 people, so this much much bigger than most business jets you'll see at the airport. 

This particular aircraft, registration VQ-BSK, came off the production line in 2012, then was fitted with one of the most luxurious cabins imaginable, complete with handmade carpets and a secret safe room for a couple of years by plane-maker Boeing. Finally, in 2015 it entered service transporting Very Very Important People and since it was new, it's only done around 200 flights and less than 437 flying hours, so hardly used at all. 

One of the main reasons this aircraft has had so little air time in the last three or so years is that it's one careful owner has been Amiri Flight, the private VVIP airline that operates exclusively for the Royal Family and high ranked government staff of the State of Qatar. So the list of passengers permitted to fly in this business jet is rather small and very exclusive, plus Amiri Flight has a large fleet consisting of 3 A319-100s, 3 A320-200s, 2 A330-200s, 1 A310-300, 1 A340-200, 1 A340-300, 1 A340-500 and 1 Boeing 747-8 BBJ. 

Hijacker of MS181 handed back over to Egyptian authorities

The Egyptian man who hijacked an EgyptAir aircraft with a fake suicide explosives belt in March 2016 has been handed back to Egyptian authorities according to Egypt's state prosecutor.

The prosecutor confirmed in a statement that Seif Eldin Mustafa was handed over to an Egyptian Interpol team in Nicosia after Cairo provided assurances that he would face legal proceedings that conform to international standards.

Seif Eldin Mustafa boarded the EgyptAir Airbus A320 on 29th March 2016 that was ccheduled for a normal domestic flight from Alexandria to Cairo flight with 55 passengers on board. However, it proved to be anything but an ordinary journey as Mustafa complete with a 'suicide' explosive belt took control and demanded to be flown to Cyprus.   

easyJet flight to Gibraltar diverts to Porto due to drunk and rowdy passenger

A drunk and rowdy passenger, in his early twenties, on an easyJet flight from Manchester to Gibraltar became so disruptive that the crew diverted the aircraft to Porto in Portugal on Sunday morning 

Upon arrival at Porto, the police met the aircraft and the rowdy drunk man was taken off the aircraft, along with two friends travelling with him. The aircraft then took off again heading for Gibraltar after taking on some fuel, landing some 90 minutes behind schedule. 

The late inbound arrival of the aircraft also meant that passengers on the Gibraltar to Manchester flight were also delayed by around two hours. 

An easyJet spokesperson said that "easyJet's crew are trained to assess and evaluate all incidents. Whilst such incidents are rare, we take them very seriously do not tolerate abusive or threatening behaviour onboard and always push for prosecution." 

But is that enough?

Saturday, 18 August 2018

TruJet to lease Jet Airways ATR's?

The financially troubled Jet Airways of India is conducting negotiations with local Indian regional airline, TruJet, to sublease out almost half of its ATR fleet.

The move will drastically hit Jet Airways competitive place in the domestic market but the airline is struggling to cut costs and shore up losses. In a briefing to the financial community, Jet Airways management said, it continues to “evaluate all possible alternatives to ensure optimum utilization of its fleet”. Many in the Indian aviation industry have believed that Jet Airways had been looking to curtail some of its domestic operations and either wet or dry lease out some or all of the ATR aircraft for some time. 

They currently have around 18 of the ATR turboprops which are used on small short routes competing with the likes of SpiceJet and IndiGo. It is hoped that by sub-leasing some of the ATR72s  out the Jet Airways will be able to focus more on lucrative international operations. 

Senthil Raja, of TruJet, confirmed the carrier was in talks with Jet Airways to take seven ATR72-500 aircraft on a  five-year “wet lease” type deal. If all goes ahead, he expects TruJet would receive the aircraft by the end of October.

Ryanair offload 13 year old autistic girl for being unaccompanied whilst travelling with family

The low-fare-high-fee budget carrier Ryanair has been accused of heartlessly stranding an autistic 13-year-old in Portugal for hours for being an unaccompanied minor, despite travelling with her relations. 

The airline had allowed Daisy Maddock, 13, to fly out to Faro on 10th August with her aunties, uncles, cousins and godmother without any problems. The young teenager was supposed to her mother, Michelle Maddock, but the 32 year-old was unable to fly as she had suffered a bleed on her brain shortly before the trip to celebrate her mother's 60th birthday.

Michelle had contacted Ryanair to explain the situation and confirm that Daisy still wanted to go and the Irish airlines' staff said it was fine, the child needed a letter explaining the situation, with copies of both parents passports. Her aunts and uncles were travelling on the same flights, under different bookings. 

Primera Air's Airbus A321neo

'We embrace tomorrow' That's the saying from Primera Air as they welcome the latest addition to their fleet, the Airbus A321neo.

The Airbus A321neo is a massive step forward for the airline and the cutting-edge quality and design, enhanced new engine option (hence the neo), cabin customization flexibility combined with the innovative seat design will prove a winner on the transatlantic routes. 

Primera tells us the Airbus A321neo is a true industry-leading airliner with unprecedented fuel efficiency thanks to its wing Sharklets and state-of-the-art engines. 

airBaltic to launch Riga - Stuttgart service

The expanding and well respected Latvian airline airBaltic has announcesd one of its first destinations for the summer season of 2019 earlier this week. The airline says it will start a service between Riga and Stuttgart from 31st March next year.

Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic said, “Stuttgart is already our sixth destination in Germany, and we are confident the direct connection will be appreciated among business and leisure travellers alike. As one of the centres of the German car industry and natural landscapes, Stuttgart offers a lot to its visitors.”

Last A320neo for SriLankan Airlines

The flag carrier of Sri Lanka took delivery of the last new Airbus A321neo to join its fleet last month. SriLankan Airlines now has six Airbus neo aircraft and 27 aircraft in total in its fleet with the newest acquisition.

SriLankan Airlines welcomed the aircraft with special religious observances and ceremonies at the airlines engineering hangar in Katunayake to bestow blessings on the new jet before it embarks on its life as a commercial airliner.

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