Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Unattended child attempts to open emergency exit on Citilink flight.

A Citilink plane heading from Jakarta (CGK/WIII) to Batam (BTH/WIDD) had to make an emergency landing yesterday after an unattended child attempted to open an emergency exit mid-flight. The plane made the unscheduled stop in Palembang’s Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Airport (PLM/WIPP) at 4:05pm after the flight’s captain decided to take the precautionary measure following the incident.

According to Citilink, the child was not under the supervision of their parents when they detached the safety cover to the latch of an emergency exit door.

Thankfully, the door did not open mid-flight.

“The cabin crew immediately sought an explanation from the child’s parents. The parents were also required to make a statement to the authorities at Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II,” Citilink Corporate Secretary and CSR VP Diah Suryani said in a statement published yesterday. No sanctions have been announced for the parents thus far.

Under current COVID-19 protocols, children under the age of 12 are not permitted to travel by air. Diah said the child in this incident had received official dispensation to travel by the COVID-19 Task Force at Soekarno-Hatta Airport.

The plane later took off from Palembang at 7.08pm and touched down in Batam at 7:52pm, 52 minutes later than it was scheduled to land.

Below statement is from Citilink

Flight QG944, Jakarta-Batam route made an emergency landing at Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport, Palembang on September 27, 2021 at 16:05 WIB. 
The pilot decided to make an emergency landing because a child passenger was allegedly about to open the emergency door while the plane was in the air. VP Corporate Secretary & CSR of PT Citilink Indonesia, Diah Suryani explained, the incident was triggered by children who were in seat row 11 on flight QG944 removing the emergency door lever protective cover or emergency exit cover handle. At the time of the incident, the children's passengers were out of the supervision of their parents.

Knowing the incident, Citilink cabin crew in charge of taking action in accordance with procedure immediately informed the incident to the Captain. Furthermore, the Captain decided to divert the flight to the nearest airport to technically check the condition of the aircraft and ensure the aircraft was in safe condition, in order to ensure the safety and security of the flight.

"In addition, the cabin crew immediately requested information to the child's parents. The child's parents were also questioned by the authorities when landing at Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Airport, Palembang," Diah said in a written statement.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Citilink
Code: QG/CTV
Aircraft: Airbus A320-214
Registration: PK-GLY
Serial Number: 05830
First Flew: October 2013

Saturday, 25 September 2021

As international flights resume, could Queensland be left behind?

Queenslanders could remain grounded while residents of other states head overseas in December.

Australia's international borders are set to reopen in December, but Queenslanders could remain grounded as overseas flights take to the skies. State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk this week pushed back on the nationally-agreed plan to unlock Queensland's state borders and restart international travel once the country reaches the 80% 'double-jab' vaccination milestone.

Speaking with media at a press conference, Palaszczuk claimed the national plan had not been finalised, with further modelling by the expert Doherty Institute still to be shared with state and territory leaders tabled before the next national cabinet meeting.

"The Doherty modelling has not been released publicly... but 80% will mean different things to different states," she said.

She also cast doubt on whether Queenslanders might be able to travel overseas before the end of the year, following a promise by federal Tourism Minister Dan Tehan that the country's international borders would be unlocked by Christmas.

"We have to stick to the national plan that will see our international border open up – at this rate by Christmas at the latest," Tehan told the National Press Club on Wednesday.

"People will be able to freely travel outside of Australia, with no restrictions or no limitation... obviously, it will be dependent on the requirements that are put in place of the countries that they are travelling with."

Vaccine passports, home quarantine

Tehan confirmed that Australia is in negotiations with several countries to establish quarantine-free "travel bubbles", alongside ongoing trials of home quarantine for travellers returning from other destinations, while the government's 'vaccination passport' QR code system has been sent to Australia's overseas embassies for compatibility checks with other country's systems. "What we've seen so far and all the reports back, is that the QR code system – which has obviously been modelled on the international aviation organisation's model of what they think is needed in a QR code – seems to be interoperable with most of the countries that we've been dealing with,” he said.

"So that when those international borders open, hopefully at the latest by Christmas, that Australians will be able to travel with a QR code link to their passport which will be able to show a proof of vaccination."

Qantas intends to resume international flights from December 18. While most of the first wave of flights spear out from Sydney and Melbourne, the schedule lists Brisbane-Singapore and Brisbane-Los Angeles from December 19, 2021, with Brisbane-Noumea from January 8, 2022 and Brisbane-San Francisco from February 14, 2022.

Fiji Airways also plans to relaunch flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane by December 1 as the Pacific nation gears up for the return of international tourists, while Hawaiian Airlines is also eyeing a return to Sydney and Brisbane from mid-December.

Brisbane flyers left behind?

However, as previously reported, Qantas has said it's prepared to leave Brisbane and Perth off its overseas reboot if Queensland and similarly recalcitrant Western Australia insist on keeping their states closed after reaching the 80% vaccination threshold.

"It is a national plan, and it's our view... we should open up together," Qantas chief customer officer Stephanie Tully told a Tourism Australia webinar earlier this month.

"But if not, we can plan for scenarios that Sydney and Melbourne can open up," she said, adding that "it's not ideal", but the airline needed to get moving again.

"We're excited to see that Australians want to travel. We think as soon as borders open up there will be large influx of demand."

WA Premier Mark McGowan recently said the state's 'hard border' would likely come down in "February, March or April – I suspect it will be one of those months."

This could see Qantas' flagship Perth-London route temporarily rerouted to fly to London via Darwin should WA remain closed.

The airline says it "is investigating using Darwin as a transit point, which has been Qantas' main entry for repatriation flights, as an alternative (or in addition) to its existing Perth hub given conservative border policies in Western Australia."

Qantas expects non-stop flights between Australia and London will be even more popular in the post-Covid era.

"I think it would be a terrible shame, if when we got to Christmas, from NSW you could visit your relatives in London, but can't visit your relatives in Perth," Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has said.

Story By David Flynn, and sourced from here
As international flights resume, could Queensland be left behind? - Executive Traveller

Friday, 24 September 2021

C-17 Globemaster practice flypast


Yesterday a Boeing C-17A Globemaster III strategic aircraft from RAAF Base Amberley conducted several low level rehearsal fly-past's over Brisbane city in preparation for this year’s Riverfire which is held on Saturday the 25th September. The flypast took place from 12.06pm to 12.18pm.

Around 2.30pm Helicopters from the School of Army Aviation in Oakey also conducted a low level rehearsal along the Brisbane River in the CBD in preparation for Riverfire, unfortunately commitments prevented me from attending this rehearsal.

The C-17A Globemaster III flew over Mt Coot-tha and Suncorp Stadium then headed south along the river at South Bank to the Goodwill Bridge before repositioning to fly east along the Kangaroo Point cliffs toward the Storey Bridge.
There were two fly-past's, one flown at 1000 feet and then the second flown at a height not below 300 feet.

First flight was on the 07/11/2006
28/11/2006 accepted by the RAAF in California USA.
04/12/2006 arrived in Canberra Australia from the USA.
In service with the 36 Sqn RAAF.

A41-206 (MSN 06-0206)

What is Riverfire
Riverfire is one of Australia's leading international arts festivals, and is held each September in Brisbane. Its presence dominates the city for three weeks in September and its line-up of classical and contemporary music, theatre, dance, comedy, opera, circus and major public events such as Riverfire attracts an audience of around one million people every year.
The close of the festival is celebrated by a huge fireworks display with fireworks coming from barges in the river and from the roof of many buildings around the city and of course the RAAF aircraft displays

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Virgin Galactic flights on sale for $600,000

It’s the hottest ticket money can buy – well, a lot of money. 
Flights to space with Virgin Galactic have finally opened up to sales again.

Keen stargazers – wealthy, keen stargazers – will be able to snap up $614,000 tickets on future Virgin Galactic space flights, after the company resumed selling tickets following a six-year hiatus. Shares of Virgin Galactic rose almost 6 per cent higher on Friday after the ticket sale announcement, ending the trading day at $US33.37 ($A45.42).

Sales will initially open to “early hand-raisers” who have already expressed interest in paying for a flight, the company said, and another list will then be created for new reservations. The company said it will sell single seats, package deals and a “full-flight buyout”. It’s unclear precisely how each tier will be priced, but the starting price is $US450,000, or $A614,000.

Virgin Galactic ticket sales have been closed since the fatal 2014 crash of a test flight.

But a huge number of people are already on the waiting list for their own trip to space, including Melbourne man Scott Copeland, who scored his ticket through a Virgin Australia competition in 2014. The company’s billionaire founder Sir Richard Branson promised to fly to space himself before opening up commercial operations, and last month, he made the trip.

Branson’s flight marked the first time a billionaire space pioneer rode to the atmosphere on his own company’s rocket, stealing the thunder from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos who rode to space just a week later. “Leveraging the surge in consumer interest following the Unity 22 flight, we are excited to announce the reopening of sales effective today, beginning with our Spacefarer community,” Virgin Galactic chief executive officer Michael Colglazier said on Thursday evening in a statement.

“As we endeavour to bring the wonder of space to a broad global population, we are delighted to open the door to an entirely new industry and consumer experience,” he added.

Virgin Galactic announced the resumption of ticket sales alongside its second-quarter earnings, which showed it posted an adjusted EBITDA loss of $US56 million, slightly wider than the $US55.9 million loss in the prior quarter. The company reported revenue of $571,000 for the quarter, enough to cover a seat on one of its future spaceflights.

Its revenue largely came from scientific research experiments, the company said.

The company added that it’s targeting late September for its next test flight, which will carry members of the Italian air force and is expected to generate revenue. Upon the completion of that flight, the company expects to undergo an “enhancement period” before launching a final test flight. After that, Virgin Galactic will begin passenger flights. Mr Colglazier said on a conference call with investors that the enhancement period will likely run into mid-2022, pushing back the start of passenger operations to the second half of next year.

Story sourced from here
Virgin Galactic flights on sale for $600k | news.com.au — Australia’s leading news site

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Qantas, Jetstar announce $20 flight sale as states set to reopen

As NSW and Victoria prepare to reopen, Jetstar and Qantas have dropped a slab of fares to get people flying again.
                                                                            File Photo

As vaccine uptake climbs across Australia, fully-vaccinated residents in both Victoria and NSW are hoping for eased border restrictions between the two states in the coming months.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Sunday that border measures would be scaled back for the double-jabbed on the 5th of November. Now Qantas and sister airline Jetstar have launched sale fares they promise are at rock bottom.

A Jetstar 24-hour flash sale. which began at 5pm on Monday, saw fares from $20 one-way for flights from Melbourne Tullamarine to Sydney, Newcastle and Byron Bay, and from Melbourne Avalon to Sydney.

“As Victoria and NSW approach the 80 per cent double vaccination target, and travel between the two states looks set to reopen, we know there will be many people wanting to plan a well-earned holiday or visit loved ones,” Jetstar Group chief executive officer Gareth Evans said in a statement.

“With Jetstar fares as low as $20, we expected those seats to be snapped up quickly, helping to revive the tourism industry and support local businesses, as well as get more of our people back to work.”

Meanwhile, Qantas has launched a five-day sale featuring all-inclusive fares from $99 one-way between Melbourne Tullamarine and Sydney, as well as sale fares across six regional routes between
Victoria and NSW including Sydney to Bendigo and Mildura and Melbourne to Byron and Coffs. Travel periods for the sales will be between November 5 and mid-December 2021, as well as selected dates between January and March 2022 for some Qantas fares

If the Victorian Government’s road map is pushed back, or customers are unable to travel for any reason, they will be able to change the date of their travel but a fare difference may apply.
The Qantas Group’s vaccination reward program includes the option for a $20 travel voucher for fully-vaccinated travellers, which can be used across Jetstar or Qantas flights, including these sale fares.

The airlines will also be adding more flights back into their schedules to meet an expected surge in demand when travel restrictions ease, just in time for Christmas.

Story sourced from here
Qantas, Jetstar: Airlines offer $20 flights as Vic, NSW set to reopen borders | news.com.au — Australia’s leading news site

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Air France makes emergency landing in Beijing

AIR FRANCE A380-861 F-HPJF (MSN 064)

An Air France flight from Beijing-Capital International Airport (PEK/ZBAA) to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG/LFPG) was forced to return to Beijing to make an emergency landing due to smoke on board the aircraft.
According to the newspaper Beijing Daily, the plane took off from the Beijing Capital International Airport in the early hours of Saturday morning, and soon thereafter, a bang was heard in the area of the tail of the jet, following which black smoke emerged.

According to a passenger a 'bang' was heard at row 52 in the passenger cabin. A passenger in or near the left-hand window seat reported rush of air coming from under his feet, followed by loud noise from the ceiling and the smell of smoke. There was no fire. Initial information suggests there was an air conditioning system failure.

Air France Statement:

"Air France confirms that the crew of flight AF393 on the 18th September 2021 from Beijing airport to Paris-Charles de Gaulle in a Boeing 777 returned to Beijing after 14 minutes due to a technical incident. A failure in the aircraft's pneumatic system led to an overpressure in one of the air-conditioning pipes, which spread residue and dust in the cabin.

The crews are trained and regularly instructed to carry out this procedure in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications and the aircraft's instructions.

The aircraft landed normally in Beijing at 4.03am (local time).

The customers were taken care of by Air France teams and accommodated at the airport. They will be flown back to Paris today on another Boeing 777.

Maintenance work will be carried out on the aircraft concerned before it is returned to service.

Air France recalls that the safety of its crews and customers is its absolute priority and regrets the inconvenience caused by this situation.

No individuals were injured in the incident.
The causes of the incident remain unknown.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Air France
Code: AF/AFR
Aircraft: Boeing 777-328
Registration: F-GSQD
Serial Number: 32726
First Flew: Sept 2004
Age 17 yrs

Friday, 17 September 2021

ANA Launches auction of old aircraft parts and memorabilia

ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS B787-9 JA873A (MSN 34530)    File Photo

All Nippon Airways (ANA) aircraft parts and memorabilia are going up for sale on a Japanese online auction site later this month. ANA calls the items one-of-a-kind parts and valuable airline goods. Delving through the PR guff, everything from small items like key rings to not so small items like first class suites, are up for bids.

Beginning September 21, SorANAka Yahoo! Auctions Store will start accepting bids. First up is an original ANA international first class mock-up seat and a Boeing 777-300ER window frame.
ANA calls it an “effective use of retired aircraft parts”.

Part of the profit from the auction will be donated to an external charity such as the Japanese Red Cross or Save the Children.

It isn’t the first time All Nippon Airways has monetized aircraft memorabilia. Earlier this year, the airline did a brisk trade flogging off bar carts. Despite weighing over 20 kilograms, ANA reportedly sold 220 surplus carts over a three-month period for around US$1000 each. One buyer described the bar carts as “very convenient and functional.”

“A lot of things can be put in a cart, which people usually see only onboard, and it would look nice by just placing it in a room,” an ANA flight attendant told Japanese media outlet The Mainichi. Alas the ANA bar carts came empty. Last year, Qantas sold 1,000 former Boeing 747 bar carts in two hours. Also priced around US$1000, the Qantas bar carts were thoughtfully filled with 160 miniature wine bottles, two full-size bottles of champagne, and a decent supply of snacks to help soak it all up.

ANA has also sold some interesting gear from retired Boeing 767-300 aircraft. According to The Mainichi, this year ANA has sold four thrust levers priced at about $10,900, four control sticks priced between $6,800 and $7,300, nine cockpit ceiling panels for $2,000 each, and three sets of mock-up passenger seats for between $5,500 and $6,400 each.

All Nippon Airlines has also found success selling inflight food. In March ANA sold over 264,000 economy class inflight meals, making $1.8 million in the process.

“Each time we place the meals on our online market site, they sell out within 45 minutes on average, an ANA spokesperson said at the time. “Some items were gone in five minutes.”

Monetizing airline food is a particularly Asian shtick. Malaysia Airlines, Air Asia, Singapore Airlines, and THAI have all turned to it since the travel downturn. Cash-strapped airlines outside the region haven’t ventured down this road. Quite possibly that’s because the economy meal product on so many western legacy airlines is so awful they’d get laughed off the internet.

Indeed, not many airlines outside the Asia region have turned to these gimmicky style stunts to keep their regular passengers engaged. Gimmicky can be good. You’d have to figure there would be a few punters across the United States happy to shell out cash or points for a seat out of a retired AA aircraft, or perhaps a Delta branded cabin partition.

ANA fanboys and fangirls can find out all about the upcoming auction on the Yahoo Japan website.

Below is from the auction website
As the first installment of the SorANAka Yafuoku store, the company will exhibit products for Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on international aircraft. First Class mock-up (model) seats and window frames for both first and business classes will be accepted from 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, with the end scheduled to end around 9-10 p.m. on Thursday. The bid start amount is 7,730 yen for mockups and 773 yen for window frames. The second series will be exhibited around October, and in addition to mock-up seats for international business class, a model plane of the 747-400 (registration symbol JA8094) and an aircraft identification plate (nameplate) of JA8094 will be prepared. In April, SorANAka opened in Rakuten Ichiba as a new mail-order site that deals with food specialties from all over Japan. They sell ordered gourmet dishes such as miso ramen sets from Hokkaido and izakaya sets from Hakata. Yafuoku will be SorANAka's second store. Ana All Japan Trading co., Ltd. has been operating its own mail order site "ANA STORE/ ANA Shopping A-style" since 2000, mainly targeting members of ANA Mileage Club (AMC), ANA's mileage system. A-style also sells goods such as aircraft parts, but A-style sells multiple in-flight carts and processed parts for a fixed amount. At the SorANAka Yafuoku store, the company aims to increase the number of sales channels by offering a single item such as sheets at auction.

Story sourced from here (with additions)
ANA Launches Auction Of Old Aircraft Parts And Memorabilia - Simple Flying