Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Airbus announce job cuts across Europe

Today the Airbus President gave a news conference announcing that 10,000 people across Europe would suffer in a job cuts announcement. Of those, 1,600 would be people in the UK.

Airbus have been hindered with delays to its A380 Superjumbo resulting in cancelled orders.

Airbus boss Louis Gallois said the firm was "facing huge challenges" and "was not efficient enough".

He also commented that the weak US dollar had also made the changes necessary.

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Tribute to Pan Am Airlines

Tribute to Pan Am Airlines and the 747 Clipper

Looking for a new job...

Well how about working with the most popular European carrier! Ryanair is to create 5000 new jobs when it completes the purchase of 10 new aircraft within the next two months.

The jobs are to be spread across Europe as the €530m purchase enables the carrier to establish 50 new routes.The airline’s head of communications, Peter Sherrard, said:

“Ryanair’s $700m (€530.1m) investment will create 5000 jobs across Europe as we expand our existing bases at Barcelona Girona, East Midlands, London Stansted and launch our second German base in Bremen. These new routes will provide a massive boost to local economies all over Europe with increased visitor numbers and massive savings for passengers.”

Monday, 26 February 2007

Money, Money, Money

It’s been another good profit in quarter 4 for Malaysia Airlines boasting 122.04 million Ringgit.

Due to reduced costs and improved profits this has been a good outcome of a five-quarter loss.

Chief Executive Idris Jala told reporters. "I can say that Malaysia Airlines is fully alive and kicking. The crisis is behind us. We've said this is the year we want to generate profit".

Targeted profits for this year is 50 million Ringgit yet Jala had something else to say: "If we can achieve a profit of between 50 and 99 million Ringgit, it will be on target," he said.

More Good News...

…For holidaymakers. The newest arrival to Spanish fleet Clickair has increased its flying destinations to 24. From its Barcelona home the new routes will be introduced steadily from 1st April to 1st October.

When the airline makes its first birthday on October 1st 2007 it will be flying to 36 different destinations, 28 International and 8 Domestic.

Iberia flights to Venice and Rome will be taken over by Clickair with new services to Italy, Verona, Naples and Palmero all to be added by July 2007.

Sunday, 25 February 2007

Superjumbo or Mumbo Jumbo?

The Airbus A380 is a double decker aeroplane nicknamed the ‘Superjumbo’ with four engines. It completed its first flight on 27 April 2005 from Toulouse in France. It has now been scheduled to fly commercially in 2007 with Singapore Airlines after many lengthy delays.

This Superjumbo reportedly has double the floorpace than that of the Jumbo 747 allowing for 555 people to be seated in a standard three class layout or an astonishing 853 people with a full economy class placing. The A380 has the capability of flying a distance of 15,000 kilometres (enough to fly direct from Sydney to Chicago) with a cruising speed of about 560 miles per hour which is not too dissimilar to the 747.

Boeing is also developing a new 747-8 which is in direct competition with the Airbus A380 in terms of long haul flights. As there have been many delays with the A380 a lot of Airlines have stated that they may consider ordering the new Boeing in favour of the Airbus.

The Airbus A380 has now preceded the 747 to becoming the biggest passenger jet in the world. But will it live up to its name of ‘Superjumbo’ or have Airbus tried to deliver the impossible? Are companies trying to outdo each other in providing luxuries rather than accommodating safety?

The A380 may very well be bigger but it certainly doesn’t have the splendour and majestic appeal to that of the 747. The aesthetics of the A380 are nothing compared to the most recognisable ‘hump’ on the Boeing and in my opinion the 747 will always be the ‘Superjumbo!’.

Happy Holidays!

Good news for Malaysia holiday makers as Penang International Airport announce that a new local airline company intend to use its Bayan Lapas location as its sole base for all short haul flights.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said the airline is negotiating the final steps for it to obtain the permits to set up its base at the airport.

“We hope the company can start operating by April. It will use Penang as its main hub to fly to other parts of the country and to Asian countries,” he told media.

“We hope this [the new local airline] will boost the tourism industry in Penang,” he said.

Asked if the move would affect Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia, Chan said: “Healthy competition is good for the aviation industry.”

Chan said that the Penang Government was also working closely with his ministry to turn the airport into a regional hub for budget airlines.

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Should alcohol be served on flights?

There have been many incidents of air rage in the skies when people have drunk too much. Cabin crew should be able to see when someone has had enough and refuse to give them more alcohol. Why risk somebody going mad and trying to open the cabin doors!

Air rage is always making news and will always be the subject of any ‘in-flight’ incidents.

Rebecca Broussard (mother to Jack Nicholson’s children) was onboard a flight bound for Heathrow, she was the cause of the captain making an unplanned emergency stop in Canada when she was not permitted more Champagne hence flaring up in anger. A band member of REM also exploded into a drunken outrage on a separate flight but was later cleared of this charge.

The Civil Aviation Authority have put forward that half the air rage incidents are caused by alcohol and in the cases above it certainly looks that way.
Reported occasions of trouble on British aircraft alone have since March 2003 doubled.

There were 1,359 instances of disruptive behaviour on flights, of which 56 were classed as ‘serious’ and this was in a twelve-month period between March 2005 and March 2006. ‘Serious’ is classed as attitudes that are deemed to threaten safety or could do so if the situation furthers.

Many situations are involving verbal abuse of crew and other passengers, even petty things such as seating arrangements and seat reclining, ignoring crew instructions accounts for another quarter of incidents.

There have been 142 occasions where violence has been reported resulting in planes being diverted and individuals restrained. More than a third of these were alcohol induced.

An incident on a My Travel flight to Glasgow saw a passenger drink a bottle of Whiskey and become threatening to staff. The pilot diverted to an airport in Spain where all passengers stayed in a hotel for the night and flew back the next day. The drunken passenger will have to pay £40,000 but had it been considered more serious, the traveller could have faced a two-year prison sentence.

Cathay Pacific banned Liam Gallagher for life after he had a drunken in-flight argument and Model Marzena Kamizela apparently bit a British airways stewardess.

Gillian Merron Aviation Minister said:
"Airlines have worked hard to ensure that disruptive incidents are kept to a minimum and more passengers are aware of the consequences of unruly behaviour,"

So the debate continues, should alcohol be allowed onboard aircraft?

Friday, 23 February 2007

New terminal for Hong Kong Airport

Hong Kong’s airport is to be added to with another terminal to try and ease congestion of an estimated 10 million passengers over the next five years.

Terminal 2 will see up to 15 percent of people pass through from next month. The airport manager director Howard Eng said: "This is the result of the activities in Hong Kong and the whole Pearl River Delta."

Mr Eng went on to say that the passenger volume had risen to 45 million last year from 31 million when the airport first opened in 1988.
Six airlines are expected to locate their check-in desks within the new terminal in the next three months. Oasis Hong Kong and Emirates will be two of the first airlines to use the new terminal.

Terminal 2 will boast space for 112 check-in counters, customs and immigration hall, coach area, car park and various shops and dining areas. The new terminal has cost around HK$2 billion.

Mr Eng has also said that investigations into a third runway will begin this year to cope with traffic in 12-13 years time.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

BA favour Boeing over Airbus

British Airways have added to its fleet of aircraft by buying four Boeing 777-200 with a delivery date of 2009.

There is an option of four more being added in 2010 with a price tag of $201 million for each one.
Airbus and Boeing were to both try to outbid the other for the contract but BA decided that the Boeing jets would be more harmonious to its fleet.

BA last year had said that they were looking to buy 34 planes at least yet at the same time said it had to cut its £2.1 billion pension deficit first.

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Runway closed when Jet's tyres burst

At about 8.30am this morning at London’s City Airport, the tyres burst on a CityJet plane arriving from Paris resulting in the closure of the runway.

There were no reports of injuries and the aircraft was safely evacuated. A spokesperson said: "We can confirm the aircraft safely came to rest at the eastern end of the runway and all 55 passengers and five crew on board have been safety transported to the terminal”.

Investigations are underway to try and reveal the cause of the accident but all passengers travelling to London City Airport are advised to contact their airlines for travel information.

Last summer when Police foiled a plot to blow up transatlantic flights Britain’s airports have been on a high state of alert, but this incident has no evidence suggesting any terrorism links.

Friday, 16 February 2007

Bomb scare at Luton Airport

Flights at Luton airport were disrupted when a bomb alert was given and a controlled explosion was carried out on a car.

A Bedfordshire Police spokesman said: "We had a bomb scare," and also noted that the phone call made by a man turned out to be a false alarm.

The departure terminal was evacuated and flights grounded until the all clear was given.

A380 set to cause traffic congestion

Traffic congestion is set to increase with the introduction of the Airbus A380. The four engines produce a wake vortex when taking off and landing which could prove dangerous to other aircraft.

An extra two minutes will have to be adhered to by large aircraft and three minutes for smaller ones when the Airbus takes off, on the other hand when the A380 lands there will be a wait of four and three minutes.

The A380 will primarily be used for long haul flights, which normally come at peak times thus resulting in possible delays.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Extra charge for extra baggage

Passengers travelling with British Airways could be facing charges up to £240 for carrying an extra bag. Check-in staff have been told to act discreetly regarding the charges.

A sympathetic approach could be used towards those who didn’t know of the extra charges yet this period of consideration would only last until the end of September.

A spokeswoman said: “We were always going to do it this way; to have a slow introduction to make sure passengers are aware of the changes. Even so, it is a very small number, less than 2%, of passengers that the new rules effects.”

From today any second bags being checked in will be charged £30 one way on domestic flights, £60 on European flights and up to £120 on long haul flights.

Passengers have always been able to check in a second bag with no extra charge so long as the overall weight of the luggage doesn’t exceed the specified weight restriction. BA has also cut the allowed weight of baggage from 32kg to 23kg on domestic flights.

Monday, 12 February 2007

More strikes on the horizon?

Passengers may be affected by the threat of further strike action from British Airways as proposed changes to the pension scheme were rejected.

4,500 baggage handlers, ticketing staff plus other workers are represented by the GMB Union, which said that proposals to tackle BA’s £2 billion pension fund deficit was voted against by 2-1.

Industrial action cannot be ruled out but BA’s Chief Executive Willie Walsh will hold talks this week to try and resolve the row.

Saturday, 10 February 2007

Boeing Release New 747 Prototype...

...not so sure about the Cabin Crew though!

Friday, 9 February 2007

Airbus A380 makes first passenger flight

The airbus A380 made its first official passenger flight from Toulouse today. Ex-Virgin Atlantic pilot Pete Chandler captained the flight with Air France and Lufthansa crew. The light load consisted of carefully selected media.

John Leahy said “We have had our problems over the last 12 months and failed our delivery guarantees. No passenger airline has cancelled. I promise 20 more orders before the year end.” It was also pointed out by Mr Leahy that the Airbus had met or beaten other performance obligations set out for it.

In the Monday electronic and Montage editions, ABTN will be reviewing the Airbus.

Let it snow!

Heavy snow across the country forced the closure of runways at several airports. London City, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted had shut their runways for several hours.

Snow fell the thickest outside of London causing Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff to also close their runways.

Heathrow remained open during the chaos but still cancelled at least 32 short-haul flights.

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Stop Press!

In light of bad media publicity, the Airbus A380 has embarked on a two hour flight with journalists on board.

It is hoped the flight will boost confidence from commercial airlines that the A380 will soon be a viable proposition as an alternative to the Boeing 747 for long haulage flights.

Airbus have said that they are already hoping to further sales with the purchase of at least 20 'superjumbos' in 2007.

Meanwhile, Boeing will exploit the two year delay with an upgrade of the alrady popular 747.

JFK Junior to blame for crash?

An audio recording of a conversation between an airport intern and a Federal Administration Dispatcher, which may provide clues as to the reason why the plane carrying JFK Junior and two others crashed, has been released.

Transcripts of the conversation between Adam Budd (student employed at Martha’s Vineyard Airport), and the Automated Flight Service Station in Bridgeport was publicly announced and reported four days after the July 1999 crash.

In a quiet tone, Budd is asking if the FAA can locate Kennedy’s plane.

"Well, who are you?" an unidentified FAA dispatcher asked.

"I'm with airport operations," Budd said not stating which airport he was calling from.

He then said: "Actually, Kennedy Jr.'s on board. He's uh, they want to know, uh, where he is."

Budd retreated when information he wanted wasn’t given

"OK, well, if it's too much trouble, it's ... I'll just have 'em wait. ... It's not a big deal," he said, according to the 1999 transcript.

This call was recorded four hours before a search and rescue mission was put together. Kennedy, his sister-in-law and his wife were all killed when the Piper Saratoga crashed seven miles away from his home.

The blame was pushed onto pilot error saying Kennedy wasn’t experienced enough for nighttime flying and became disorientated.

Monday, 5 February 2007

Ryanair flying high

Low budget airline Ryanair have seen profits up 23% on last year. The no frills airline also saw passenger numbers up by 19% with over 10 million people flying with the airline.

This is particularly surprising considering the newly introduced fare increases.

Near miss in Japan

The late takeoff of a Japanese Jet almost caused a fatal disaster at Taoyuan International Airport when it could have collided with a China Airlines 747.

The Japan Asia Airways jet was preparing for takeoff whilst at the same time the 747 was preparing to land on the same runway.

The engine of the JAA shut off which resulted in a delayed takeoff which the China Airlines jet wasn’t notified of straight away and hence began its descent onto the runway.

It wasn’t until the Boeing was approximately 200 metres away from the JAA jet that the control tower notified them of the delay in takeoff. The landing gear was pulled up and an almost certain fatal accident was averted.

Lack of pilot experience on the behalf of JAA’s pilot and the slow response from the control tower to notify the 747 of the change in circumstances were to blame for this incident.

Saturday, 3 February 2007


A Quantas 747 with 274 passengers on board had to divert back to Australia when flames were seen flowing from one of the engines.

The plane on its way to Los Angeles had its engine shut down immediately and an airline spokesman later said that nobody onboard had been in any danger.

Problems started ten minutes after take off where flames were seen to be coming from the engine by local residents. An hour or so later the aircraft landed safely back at Sydney airport.

A replacement flight had been reorganised to depart late Saturday, alternatively passengers were offered other flights.

Friday, 2 February 2007

Crazy4Planes Desktop Wallpaper

I shall, from time to time post a Desktop Wallpaper for use on your PC, Mac or Laptop, please feel free to download, enjoy and share.

PC users: Right-click the image for your monitors resolution and choose 'Set as Background'.

Mac users: Click and hold down on mouse, select 'copy' then go to the Apple Menu, select Control Panels - Appearance - Desktop, paste and select.

Crazy4Planes1024 x 768

Crazy4Planes800 x 600


Thursday, 1 February 2007

Double Levy No Legal Basis?

Although a doubling of passenger duty costs have been introduced today, a legal expert has insisted that passengers are entitled to refuse to pay the extra amount.

Duty for a short-haul flight rises from £5 to £10 while long-haul flight duty goes up from £20 to £40.

Many disgruntled passengers are expected to challenge the extra costs and a flight industry insider has described the scenario as a potential nightmare.

Chancellor Gordon Brown has been heavily criticised for this new levy, which has been seen as a retrospective tax.

And, although it is the airlines who are legally required to pay the tax, Virgin, Ryanair and Easyjet will be passing the extra cost onto their customers. Only British Airways have insisted that they will absorb the cost.

A leading commercial barrister commissioned by the Conservatives to analyse the new tax, said that it had no legal basis because the Chancellor had not passed it through the House of Commons. He said that the tax would not be legal before it has been approved in the Finance Bill, which is not expected until April.

Airlines insist that the small print allows them to pass increases in tax on to passengers, but Mr Jack said that small print does not legally apply if the tickets were bought before December 7, the date of Mr Brown’s announcement.

Tour operator First Choice was among the first to say it would challenge the Air Passenger Duty increase, which it says has cost travel agents about £45m.

Free flights scrapped

Plans for allowing Senior Directors free first class flights to destinations of their choice have been discarded after only a matter of hours since it was announced.

In a meeting involving BA’s Executive Management the somewhat questionable proposal was rejected by Chief Executive Willie Walsh.

Martin Broughton apparently approved the scheme more than a week ago yet a BA spokesman said, “Martin fully supports the decision.”