Saturday, 21 September 2019

Emirates to retire the A380's

EMIRATES A380-861 A6-EDA (CN 11)   

Emirates airlines, the world's largest operator of the Airbus A380, is at the verge of retiring the A380 fleet as its manufacturer, Airbus, is also set to wind down its production in 2020. The move is expected to result in the reduction of the number of Emirates’ aircraft from 123 to around 90-100 by the mid-2020s. The airline added the first A380 to its fleet back in 2008 (29/07/2008 A6-EDA CN 11) and announced earlier this year that it plans to retire them fully in the 2030s. As Emirates cut their final delivery by 39 aircraft, Airbus announced that it would cease producing the A380 in 2020. The final deliveries to Emirates will take place in 2021. This makes them the last airline to still have A380s on order, apart from one for ANA. Emirates Airline president, Tim Clark, said they had aircraft coming out as their operating leases end, or when their financial leases end if they are wholly owned. Explaining the reason behind the decision, Clark added: “They are under retirement because we’ve got a major overhaul coming up and it’s best to take the old aircraft out – they’re all written down – and take the gear off them rather than buy a $25 million main landing gear. I need two, possibly three, to meet that overhaul requirement.”

EMIRATES A380-861 A6-EDN (CN 56) 

Despite the announcement, it is expected for the A380 to continue to be a part of the Emirates fleet for the foreseeable future. According to Clark, the aircraft will still be seen in the airline’s fleet up to 2035. The A380 retirement is to be progressive, first stabilising at about 123 aircraft, and then going down to 90-100 by the middle of the 2020s. Emirates doesn’t believe there is a viable second hand market out there for its A380 fleet, so it decided to get all the life out of the planes before discarding them. This means passengers won’t have to say goodbye to A380 cabins just yet. With Airbus concluding its A380 programme at the beginning of 2020, airlines have already started to retire the aircraft from their fleet, even though some are still waiting for deliveries. Some of the airlines that decided to bid farewell to the A380 include Air France, Qatar Airways, and Singapore Airlines. However, British Airways, which is one of the airlines with most A380s in its fleet, decided that there is plenty more life in the aircraft, being interested in using A380s to replace some of its dwindling 747s.Even though some airlines such as Emirates are implementing their A380 retirement plan, others still find value in the aircraft, especially when it comes to replacing their aging fleet.

There are 290 firm orders by 14 customers for the passenger version of the Airbus A380-800, of which 239 have been delivered as of July this year.

Airlines who fly the A380

Air France
All Nippon 
British Airways
China Southern
Hi Fly*
Korean Air

Singapore Airlines has already withdrawn the first three Airbus A380 delivered from their fleet.
9V-SKA (CN 003), was delivered in October of 2007 and retired it in August 2017. This aircraft is now registered as 2-DRPA
9V-SKB (CN 005) was delivered in January 2008 and retired January 2018. This aircraft is now registered as 9H-DPB.
*9V-SKC (CN 006) was delivered in March 2008 and retired in November 2017. This aircraft now fly's for Hi Fly Malta and is registered as 9H-MIP 

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Sunday Spotting

Due to heavy work commitments its been a while since I went spotting at Brisbane airport, and since my wife was working and the kids had other things on, I decided to come out for a couple of hours.

QANTAS A330-303 VH-QPE (CN 0593)



QANTAS B737-838 VH-VZR (CN 34193)


TIGERAIR A320-232 VH-XUG (CN 6032)


CHINA SOUTHERN A330-223 B-6531 (CN 1233)

SINGAPORE A350-941 9V-SHI (CN 322)


LEFT: JETSTAR A321-231 VH-VWZ (CN 1195)
RIGHT: JETSTAR A320-232 VH-VGN (CN 4434)

QANTAS B787-9 VH=ZNE (CN 63391)

AIR NEW ZEALAND B777-319 ZK-OKN (CN 38406)

AIR NIUGINI B767-383 P2-PXW (CN 25365)


AIR CANADA B787-8 C-GHPQ (CN 35257)

THAI B777-2D7 HS-TJU (CN 34589)

AIR ASIA X A330-343 HS-XTE (CN 1619)

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Fight on board flight causes it to return to airport

QANTASLINK DASH 8 Q400 VH-QOB (CN 4116)   File Photo

A Qantaslink flight from Sydney to Canberra was forced to turn back midway through the journey after two men became embroiled in an argument over a mobile phone. According to another passenger, the altercation started when the younger man refused to turn his phone off while flight QF1421 was still taxiing on the runway. The unnamed witness said that they didn’t hear a fight break out, but that word quickly spread that the older man had “snatched the other guy’s phone and threw it The flight attendant allegedly got involved, saying to the older man: “That’s not your job that’s my job.”“We took off and were about halfway to Canberra when the pilot said we would be turning around and heading back to Sydney. “He said any passenger altercation won’t be tolerated on-board.” The plane, which was due to land in Canberra around 3.15pm, made its way back to Sydney where it was met with police on the tarmac. “When we landed in Sydney, the air hostess opened the doors to the police,” the passenger explained. “Three police came in and took the two men off the plane.” In a statement from a spokesperson for the Australian Federal Police confirmed they attended an incident at Sydney Domestic Terminal, however no charges had been laid.
“AFP officers spoke with staff and a number of passengers in relation to an alleged on-board altercation - however no charges have been laid at this time,” the statement read.
“AFP investigations are ongoing and no further comment can be made.” A Qantas spokesman confirmed the passengers had been removed from the flight following an argument but declined to comment further.

Aircraft Information
Airline: Qantas
Code: QF / QLK
Aircraft: Dash 8 Q400
Registration: VH QOB
Serial Number: 4116

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Plane carrying Pilgrims crash lands in Niger

What could easily have become the worst aviation disaster in recent memory was averted early Saturday morning when an aircraft carrying no fewer than 550 passengers returning to Niger State made an emergency landing at Minna Airport just before 5am local time. The plane carrying pilgrims returning from the 2019 annual pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia has crash landed at the Minna International Airport (MXJ/DNMN). The aircraft, A Max Air Boeing 747, was travelling from Jeddah-Prince Abdullah Air Base (JED/OEJN) to Minna Airport (MXJ/DNMN) when it developed a technical fault in one of the plane’s four engines as it approached the Minna airport. A Source at the airport who confirmed the incident said that no one was injured or killed in the incident but the passengers were visibly shaken over the incident. Evidence of the crash landing of the plane could be seen as part of the tarmac and some runway materials were damaged when the aircraft skidded off the runway. Eyewitnesses said that the Minna International Airport was saved from a big disaster as if the plane had caught fire it would have burnt down the airport because there are no fire fighting or emergency vehicles in the airport.
Searches on the internet showed this aircraft started its life with Korean Air.
Max Air took delivery in June 2017 and up until last month Max Air had this aircraft stored.

Aircraft Details
Airline: Max Air
Code: NR / NGK
Aircraft: Boeing 747-4B5
Registration: 5N-DBK
Serial Number: 26403
Engines: 4 x PW PW4056
First Flew: 18/11/1996
Age: 22 Yrs 10 Mts

Monday, 2 September 2019

British Airways pilots to strike for three days in September

BRITISH AIRWAYS B747-436 G-BNLW (CN 25432)      File Photo

Pilots at British Airways will go on strike for three days in September after talks failed to settle a long-running pay dispute, the union has announced. The pilots will take industrial action on the 9th, 10th and 27th September in a move that BA said was likely to disrupt the plans of “tens of thousands” of passengers. The British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) said the airline had rejected its proposals to resolve the standoff and it had “no choice but to call this action”. The airline said it had offered a three-year deal of 11.5% that had been accepted by other BA employees, and it would “continue to pursue every avenue to find a solution to avoid industrial action”. The union said 93% had voted in favour of industrial action and there was no prospect of further meaningful talks. It urged the airline to seek an agreement but warned that further strikes were possible. The strikes are likely to cost the airline about £40m a day; they take place in what is British Airways’ centenary year. Balpa said pilots had made previous sacrifices to assist the company including cuts to salary, pension and leave, but the airline was now recording profits of £2bn a year and the strike was “a last resort and with enormous frustration at the way the business is now being run”.  BA’s chief executive, Alex Cruz, said he was “sad and disappointed” by what he called a totally unnecessary strike. He said: “The blame lies squarely at the door of the pilots’ union, Balpa. I personally believe BA pilots are the best in the world … But I think they have been very badly served by the union.” A BA captain earns an average of £167,000 ($301,000 Aust) and, with allowances and bonuses, would pass £200,000 per year after the three-year pay deal, Cruz said. He added that the airline would be contacting affected passengers within the next 36 hours, but passengers could make their own re-bookings now online, and that cancellations were bound to occur.  BA plans to hire planes and crew from other airlines, and schedule larger aircraft on codeshare flights – where two or more airlines share the same flight – to allow as many passengers as possible to travel

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Trainee pilot forced to land plane after instructor collapses mid-air

A trainee pilot on his first flying lesson has been commended for safely landing a plane after his instructor suffered a medical emergency and collapsed mid-air. Max Sylvester was on a flying lesson south of Perth on Saturday when his instructor collapsed. It is understood the instructor was drifting in and out of consciousness, forcing the student to take control of the Cessna and safely land it at Jandakot Airport while being coached by air traffic control. Max Sylvester, who is in his 30s, called air traffic control just over an hour into his lesson on Saturday afternoon after realising he was alone at the controls of the small Cessna. "He's leaning over my shoulder, I'm trying to keep him up but he keeps falling down," Mr Sylvester can be heard telling the controller. It was Mr Sylvester's first lesson in a two-seater as his wife and three children watched him from the ground. The air traffic operator kept the trainee calm as he talked him through an emergency landing.  "Do you know how to operate the airplane?" the operator asks. "This is my first lesson," Mr Sylvester tells him.

‘You’re doing a really great job’

In an intense audio recording, control tower personnel can be heard guiding the student and telling him, “You’re doing a really great job”, as he made several practice passes at the runway.
After a few trail runs, where the trainee was instructed several times to “lift your nose up”, he was eventually told he was ready to land on the next pass.
“Looking great mate, this is perfect. Keep it up,” a man from air traffic control reassured the student as he touched down on the runway.
“You did it mate, well done. You’ve done so well ... You’ve done an absolutely amazing job. Well done.” At least 10 emergency vehicles were seen waiting on the tarmac for plane to land, including fire crews and paramedics. Emergency crews applauded and cheered, along with Mr Sylvester’s wife and three young children who were anxiously waiting at the ground, when the student made his first solo landing. The instructor and student were reportedly treated by emergency crews at the scene. The instructor was taken to hospital in a stable condition about 5pm.
Chuck McElwee, who owns and operates the Perth flying school, said he'd never had an incident like this in his 28 years in business. "This good outcome is what you hope for. It just worked out this time," he said. Mr McElwee praised the young pilot, tower controller and the back-up instructor who all "did an exceptional job", and worked "incredibly well" to get everyone safely on the ground.

Main part of the story sourced from here.

Aircraft Details
Airline: Air Australia International
Aircraft: Cessna 152
Registration: VH-TFR
Serial Number: 15281207
Year Made: 1977
Age: 42 Yrs

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Happy 19th Birthday Virgin Australia



After the news a few days ago of Virgin Australia slashing 750 jobs I don't think they would be in the mood to celebrate, but Virgin Australia (ex Virgin Blue) has a birthday today.
Virgin Australia Airlines Pty Ltd, commonly referred to as Virgin, is one of Australia's largest airlines, (behind Qantas) and it is the largest airline by fleet size to use the Virgin brand. It commenced services on 31 August 2000 as Virgin Blue, with two aircraft on a single route. 


It suddenly found itself as a major airline in Australia's domestic market after the collapse of Ansett Australia in September 2001. The airline has since grown to directly serve 52 cities both domestically and internationally. Virgin Blue also owned airlines like Pacific Blue; Polynesian Blue and V Australia but now all operate under the name Virgin Australia.
The airline's head office is based here in Bowen Hills, Queensland. It was co-founded by British businessman Richard Branson (the founder of Virgin Group), and former CEO Brett Godfrey.
In 2011, the airline went through a massive transformation—the changing of their brand to Virgin Australia. This included the introduction of a new aircraft livery, new uniforms, and new on board menu options. New wide-body aircraft were acquired for use to compete with Qantas, and the roll-out of business class across all the Virgin Australia network. On 4 May 2011, the former Virgin Blue revealed its new name, Virgin Australia, as well as its new livery. 


In addition to the new name, branding and livery, the airline also showed off its new flagship the Airbus A330 with new domestic business class. Boeing 737 business class seating was also revealed, to be introduced on all of Virgin's jet aircraft by the end of 2011. Pacific Blue and V Australia were both folded into the new Virgin Australia brand.

Current fleet

Virgin Australia fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
J W Y Total
Airbus A330-200 6 20 255 275
ATR 72-600 12 68 68 Former Virgin Australia Regional Airlines aircraft
Boeing 737-700 2 8 120 128
Boeing 737-800 73 8 168 176 Fifteen registered to Virgin Australia International Airlines .
Some aircraft to be transferred to Tigerair Australia
Boeing 737 MAX 8 23
To be delivered from February 2025
Boeing 737 MAX 10 25 TBA To be delivered from July 2021
Boeing 777-300ER 5 37 24 278 339 All registered to Virgin Australia International Airlines
Total 98 48

Below is the break down of Virgin Australia owners

Nanshan Group (22.4%)
Etihad Airways (21%)
Singapore Airlines (19.8%)
HNA Group (13%)
Virgin Group (8%)