Sunday, 20 January 2019

Royal Brunei Launching Brisbane Flights

ROYAL BRUNEI B787-8 V8-DLC (CN 34789)

She's coming back YAY!!

Royal Brunei Airlines will launch direct flights from Brisbane to Bandar Seri Begawan (the capital of Brunei) from the 11th June 2019. The 4 x weekly services will be operated by new narrow-body Airbus A320neo aircraft.

The flights will depart Brunei for Brisbane on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
The flights will depart Brisbane in the evening on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Here is the schedule:
  • BI9  Departs Bandar Seri Begawan at 19:50  arrive Brisbane 04:45am next day
  • BI10 Departs Brisbane 17:30 arrives Bandar Seri Begawan at 22:50 same day
The flight time is around 7 hours. This is quite a long flight for a narrow-body aircraft, but the modern A320neos do have the range. The airline’s A320s are fitted with 12 Business class recliner seats, and individual in-flight entertainment screens are available at every seat.
Royal Brunei flies a modern fleet of Airbus A320s and Boeing 787s, boasting an average fleet age of just two years. That’s one of the lowest in the industry.
Royal Brunei Airlines is a full-service carrier but does not serve alcohol on board its flights as it is a dry airline.

Royal Brunei had previously operated flights to Brisbane before, but these were suspended back in 2011. Royal Brunei already flies from Melbourne to Brunei every day using Boeing 787 Dreamliner's.

Friday, 18 January 2019

Air China is back (for now)

Today marked the start of the seasonal period for Air China. The flight which comes in 4 times a week (Sun, Mon, Wed, Fri) is here for 3 months before taking a break until September. It was great to see this airline back in Brisbane, I also got to see Learjet 60 and of course the Phil Collins aircraft.





EMIRATES B777-31H A6-ECU (CN 35593)





TIGERAIR A320-232 VH-XUG (CN 6032)

JETSTAR A320-232 VH-VQF (CN 3474)


AIR CHINA A330-243 B-5933 (CN 1471)


NOT DEAD YET!!! - Phil Collins arrives in Brisbane

English recording artist Phil Collins arrived in Australia via Sydney late last night in preparation for his concerts in 5 states. Collins flew to Brisbane this afternoon ahead of his "Not dead yet" tour which kicks off here tomorrow night.
The Not Dead Yet Tour (also known as Still Not Dead Yet Live!) is a concert tour and is named after his autobiography released on 25 October 2016.
His aircraft, a Boeing 737-73W carrying the registration 2-BASG, is currently owned by Business Aviation Services Guernsey. The 737, which is seven years and six months old, started its life with Boeing Business Jets as N449BJ in July 2011. It changed hands in May 2013 and went to Hong Kong Jet as VP-BOP. In May 2014 it changed hands again going to Longtail Aviation but kept the same registration. In September 2017 it changed hands to its current owner Business Aviation Services Guernsey from Guernsey, an island in the English Channel
(BASG) – Business Aviation Services Guernsey Limited is part of the HNA Group of Companies under the subsidiaries of Hongkong Jet & Deerjet.

BASG B737-73W 2-BASG (CN 40117)


Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Malindo Air cabin crew smuggle drugs into Australia

MALINDO AIR B737-8GP 9M-LNW (CN 39875)       File Photo

Police have busted an international drug syndicate that they allege has been using airline cabin crew on board flights from Malaysia to smuggle drugs into Australia over a number of years.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Victoria Police have arrested eight people in the past 10 days who they allege brought heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine worth $21 million into Australia. Commander Tess Walsh from Victoria Police said the arrests occurred as part of Operation Sunrise, which involved the AFP, Australian Border Force and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission. The joint investigative team has alleged that the syndicate used cabin crews at Malindo Air, a small airline based in Malaysia, to bring the drugs into the country. Investigators allege the drugs were brought in via Melbourne and Sydney, carried on the bodies of the cabin crew. One defendant allegedly told investigators it was his 20th trip into Australia. Operation Sunrise is a complex, five-month operation targeting an alleged Vietnamese organised crime syndicate based in Melbourne," Commander Walsh said. Commander Walsh said police believed the syndicate had been operating for at least five years and that the drugs seized so far were clearly "not the total amount of drugs" alleged to have been imported. "This is a significant seizure but I think reality would say that it's not the total amount of drugs that this team have brought into this country," she said. "Intelligence would tell us that this crew has been operating for some years, I would say five plus … I don't know whether or not it's decades." “Airline staff are not above the law, that’s the message from Australian Border Force Commander Craig Palmer. They are subject to intervention at the border like everyone else and face significant penalties if they are found to be using their positions to attempt to circumvent our border controls.” Last June, a flight attendant from Malaysian Airlines was arrested at Melbourne airport for allegedly trying to smuggle 3.5kg of heroin worth A$1.4 million in his luggage. The 33-year-old Malaysian man faced drug smuggling charges.

Eight arrested across Melbourne

Those arrested by police include a 38-year-old woman arrested on January 7 in Tullamarine, and another six people arrested in raids at Sunshine North and inner-city Melbourne a day later.
On January 14, a woman from Richmond was also arrested.
Two of the defendants were Vietnamese-born Australians.
Six kilograms of heroin worth $14.5 million were seized, as well as 8kg of methamphetamine worth $6.4 million and half a kilo of cocaine.
A Porsche Macan, a Mini Cooper, $100,000 in cash and drug paraphernalia were also seized.
At least two of those arrested were cabin crew with Malindo Air.
Its website describes it as a "premium airline with headquarters in Petajaling Jaya", a town just outside of Kuala Lumpur.
Commander Walsh said the investigation is "active and ongoing".
Malindo Air has been contacted for comment.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Miracle on the Hudson... 10 Years on

It was 10 years ago today when the world watched in anticipation as a full plane load of people landed in the Hudson River...

On the 15th January 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 (with call sign 'CACTUS 1549') was scheduled to fly from New York City's LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to Charlotte Douglas (CLT), with direct onward service to Seattle–Tacoma International Airport. The pilot in command was 57-year-old Chesley B. Sullenberger, a former fighter pilot who had been an airline pilot since leaving the United States Air Force in 1980. At the time, he had logged 19,663 total flight hours, including 4,765 in an A320; he was also a glider pilot and expert on aviation safety. First officer Jeffrey B. Skiles, 49, had accrued 15,643 career flight hours, but this was his first Airbus A320 assignment since qualifying to fly it. There were 150 passengers and three flight attendants aboard.

During the climb out from New York City's LaGuardia Airport the aircraft struck a flock of Canada Geese just northeast of the George Washington Bridge and consequently lost all engine power. About ninety seconds later, at 3:31pm, the plane made an unpowered ditching, descending southwards at about 125 knots (140 mph; 230 km/h) into the middle of the North River section of the Hudson tidal estuary. All 155 people aboard were rescued by nearby boats and there were few serious injuries. The accident came to be known as the "Miracle on the Hudson", and a National Transportation Safety Board official described it as "the most successful ditching in aviation history". The Board rejected the notion that the pilot could have avoided ditching by returning to LaGuardia or diverting to nearby Teterboro Airport.
The pilots and flight attendants were awarded the Master's Medal of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators in recognition of their "heroic and unique aviation achievement".

On the 8th September 2016 a movie about the incident was released called "Sully". If you haven't seen it I strongly recommend you see it.

Aircraft Information
Airline: U S Airways
Code: US /AWE
Aircraft: A320-214
Registration: N106US
Serial Number: 1044
Engines: Two GE CFM56-5B4/P
Age: 9 Years 6 Months
First Flew: 15th June 1999
Test Registration: F-WWII

Information sources from Wikipedia

Cargo plane crash 'leaves 15 dead' near Tehran

A cargo plane carrying 16 passengers has crashed near the Iranian capital, Tehran, killing 15.
It is believed the plane tried to make an emergency landing at an airport near Tehran, before overshooting the runway and crashing into nearby buildings. The Boeing 707, travelling from Bishkek-Manas International Airport (FRU/UCFM), Kyrgyzstan to Payam International Airport (PYK/OIIP), Iran came off the runway and hit a residential area while trying to land at Fath airport in Karaj, 40km (25 miles) west of Tehran, in poor weather. The aircraft belongs to Saha Air (ICAO code: IRZ)  but is leased to Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
Only a flight engineer of the 16 people on board was found alive, with no-one reportedly killed on the ground. The plane's "black box" voice recorder has been found at the crash site, local media reported. An army spokesman confirmed to state TV that the plane belonged to Iran, and that all those on board were Iranian citizens. Fath airport belongs to Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards Corps, and is located in the central Iranian province of Alborz. The cargo aircraft was transporting meat. Its wreckage was found smouldering among houses in a residential area between Fath and another airport, Payam International Airport.
Local media report that the houses were empty at the time of the crash.
This is the latest in a series of Iranian plane crashes in recent years.
In February last year, Iran's Aseman Airlines was ordered to ground its fleet of ATR planes after one of them crashed into the Zagros mountains. All 66 people on board died. In August 2014, a Sepahan Airlines' Antonov plane crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran, killing 39 of the 40 people on board. It is believed engine failure was the cause. Images from the scene show the tail of a plane protruding from trees surrounded by buildings, black smoke and fires burning on the ground.
A plane's blackened fuselage is seen lying on the ground as dozens of rescuers work at the scene.
Its engines and wheels are spread across the crash site and images from inside the plane's body show it is completely charred.
The ground around the tail of the plane is scorched and part of the buildings near the crash site have collapsed.

Aircraft Details

Airline: Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force 
Aircraft: B707-3J9C
Registration: EP-CPP
Serial Number: 21128
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney Canada JT3D-3B
Age: 42
First Flew: 1976


Monday, 14 January 2019

Another brand of airline gone

The Flybe brand will be disappearing, as Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Aviation have established a joint company, with Connect Airways, to acquire UK regional operator Flybe. The new company will buyout Flybe for under a £2.2 million cash offer. It is the biggest downfall for Flybe, which was worth more than £300m less than five years ago.
The consortium would also inject £100m into the financially struggling airline, in the form of a £20m working capital loan and £80m to invest.
The new management plans to rebrand Flybe, and said the airline will continue as an independent operating carrier with a separate Air Operator Certificate, under the Virgin Atlantic brand.
Flybe has 77 aircraft, and has been suffering from higher fuel costs, currency fluctuations and significant uncertainties presented by Brexit. Flybe started operations on 1 November 1979 as Jersey European Airways as a result of a merger of the Jersey-based Intra Airways and the Bournemouth-based Express Air Services Flybe is a British airline based in Exeter, England. In 1983 the airline was sold to Walker Steel Group, which also owned Spacegrand Aviation, and the two airlines were merged under the Jersey European name in 1985. Jersey European was renamed British European in 2000 (shortened to "BE"), and received its current name in 2002. It is the largest independent regional airline in Europe. Flybe carries 8 million passengers a year between 81 airports across the UK and the rest of Europe, with over 210 routes across 15 countries. Its two hubs are Manchester and Birmingham airports but it also has a number of codeshares allowing connections to long-haul flights from airports such as London Heathrow, Paris CDG, Dublin and Amsterdam. The airline is a member of the European Regions Airline Association. Flybe's parent company Flybe Group PLC (formerly known as Walker Aviation Limited) is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Current Fleet

As of December 2018, the Flybe fleet consists of the following aircraft:

Flybe Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
ATR 72–600 5 70 Operating for Scandinavian Airlines.
Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 54 78
Embraer 175 11 4 88 Deliveries between July and December 2019.
Embraer 195 7118 To be phased out by 2020 and transferred to Stobart Air
Total 77 4