Saturday 29 December 2018

All Nippon adds Perth from Sept 2019

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

Nonstop flights between Perth and Japan are to resume with All Nippon Airways (ANA) to begin daily services from Tokyo Narita in 2019. The new flights are set to begin on September 1 and will be operated by 184-seat Boeing 787-8s.
“We are excited to add Perth to our list of world-class destinations, and are happy to be collaborating with Tourism Western Australia, Perth Airport and Tourism Australia,” said ANA senior vice-president Seiichi Takahashi.
“The city is celebrated worldwide as a tourist destination and economic hub, and we look forward to making it easier to travel between Tokyo and Perth.”
It will be the first direct connection between Perth and Tokyo since Qantas’s withdrawal of its three-times-weekly Boeing 767-300ER flights in 2011.
“According to Tourism Research Australia, despite not currently having a direct service, Japan has become Perth’s ninth largest international visitor market with 28,700 Japanese visitors arriving into WA each year and spending $60 million,” Perth Airport chief executive officer Kevin Brown said.
“We have seen extraordinary passenger growth between Japan and Perth last year totalling nearly 140,000 passengers. “We expect these numbers to grow as we know that the introduction of direct flights creates a stimulus of approximately 40 per cent in the market, just because it’s easier for people to jump on those routes.”
All Nippon, with the flight number NH 881 will depart Narita 11:10 am and arrive in Perth 20:15
NH 882 will depart Perth at 21:45 arriving in Narita at 8:25am the next morning

Tuesday 25 December 2018


Christmas is a great time for extra hugs and cuddles. Love is the magic of Christmas, if you are blessed with a love one near you, share with them that special magic. 

From my family to yours I would like to wish you, my loyal followers, a wonderful safe Merry Christmas. I hope you get to spend time with your loved ones sometime over the Christmas season. Where ever you are in this beautiful world I hope your day is filled with love, laughter and happiness. 

           M E R R Y  C H R I S T M A S

Saturday 22 December 2018

Virgin Airlines cancellations spark airport chaos

This is not a good start to anyone's Christmas travels and it would be frustrating, but seriously... safety first. The airlines don't delay or cancel flights for no reason. I understand the cancellations, I don't understand Virgin's lack of communication or willingness to help.


Passengers have been stranded at Brisbane Airport overnight after a number of Virgin Australia flights were significantly delayed. Customers have taken to social media to slam the airline, saying they weren’t updated about gate changes and reasons for the delays.
Virgin claims the severe storms in Sydney overnight meant a number of flights were diverted and aircrafts and crew were not at the correct locations for their next flights.
The airline said storms affected flights because they had to divert around storm activity to avoid major impacts of lightning strikes and significant turbulence. All Australian airports are affected.
Chris McCann told Yahoo News he was stranded in Brisbane, along with parents and children, and Virgin was refusing to pay for transport and accommodation.
“They have messed us around and lied to us about what was happening for six hours,” Mr McCann said on Thursday night.
“Then finally at 11.30pm made the announcement that the flight has been delayed again until 7am (Friday).
“I find it unacceptable that Virgin show zero sympathy for their customers, especially those with young children. A couple I was standing next to had driven down from Mackay with their children and have no where to stay now with their three-year-old son until the flight leaves in the morning.”
Despite the flight being rescheduled for 7am, it was delayed again until 10.30am.
A woman said her parents were stuck at Brisbane airport since 5am this morning.
Their flight was rescheduled for 7am before they were told it would not depart until 2pm.
“Not a good start for their Christmas Holiday,” she said.

More delays at Gold Coast and Sydney airports

Passengers leaving from Gold Coast airport also copped delays, with one woman’s 11.30pm flight on Thursday night from the Gold Coast to Perth being rescheduled for 7am.
Her mother slammed Virgin for its “unprofessional” service.
“You left her dog on the tarmac for four hours, no staff assistance, no rebooking for flights. Sent her home again, I spoke to someone on the phone at 1am Perth time to get her on a new flight for two hours,” she said.
“Your agent booked her on a flight to Sydney then onto Perth. She gets there with her dog at 6am this morning to find there’s no booking for her to fly and the flights you supposedly booked her on didn’t exist. “This is not the way to treat your customers so close to Christmas.”
Others complained of two-hour long queues to bag drop at Sydney Airport and some were worried it would cause them to miss their flights.
Virgin Australia said flights could also be affected out of Sydney today and tomorrow and passengers should arrive at least 2.5 hours before the flight.
People are urged to check their Virgin flights prior to scheduled departure.

Story sourced from here

Friday 21 December 2018

London's Gatwick airport shut by drones

London: Gatwick airport closed to aircraft on Thursday following multiple sightings of illegal drones, disrupting flights for as many as 115,000 people on one of the busiest travel days of the year.
Lines of passengers circled Gatwick's two terminals and hundreds hunkered down on departure-hall floors, with the airport saying on Thursday night, local time, that it could give no indication of when it might reopen.  "We believe this to be a deliberate act to disrupt the airport," Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw, the police commander for Gatwick, said in a statement. "However, there are absolutely no indications to suggest this is terror-related."
Reports of two objects above the airfield prompted authorities to halt flights late on Wednesday, with more than 50 incoming planes diverted to other hubs across Britain and some in mainland Europe. The airport reopened after six hours, only to shut again 45 minutes later amid further sightings. Operations remained grounded into the peak morning departure period, with no time set for their resumption, though a spokeswoman said daylight should help staff determine whether there is still a risk. Gatwick's chief operating officer Chris Woodroofe could not say when flights would resume and warned that the knock-on effects from the airport closure would last for more than 24 hours.
Police and airport reports talk of sightings of more than one drone. Woodroofe described one of the drones as a heavy industrial drone.
"It's definitely not a standard, off-the-shelf type drone," he said on BBC radio. "Given what has happened I definitely believe it is a deliberate act, yes."
Under British law it is illegal to fly drones within one kilometre of an airport boundary. The offence is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Gatwick is the world's busiest single-runway hub, the biggest base for discount carrier EasyJet Plc and the focus for long-haul leisure flights at British Airways.
Police and airport-security teams were continuing to scour the area after the last sighting of a drone at 8.45am, with a helicopter deployed to aid in the search for the perpetrators.
Gatwick said on its Twitter feed that services had been idled due to "drone activity" and that customers should check with their airline before heading to the airport.
"We're sorry for the inconvenience today, but the safety of our passengers and staff is our No.1 priority," it added.
Diverted or cancelled flights overnight affected about 6000 people at carriers including Cathay Pacific Airways and Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, while 2000 more were unable to depart on 18 scrapped services. The extended closure means hundreds of daytime operations may be lost in what would be one of the worst-ever disruptions to schedules by illegal drone incursions.
Even when the airport reopens, further upheaval is likely, with EasyJet saying in a statement that the overnight shutdown has left aircraft and crew rostered to fly from Gatwick stranded at other locations.

Story sourced from here

Thursday 20 December 2018

Virgin Australia under investigation after engines ‘flame out’

Safety authorities are investigating a “serious” incident in which both engines of a Virgin Australia aircraft “flamed out” during a flight. 

VIRGIN AUSTRALIA ATR 72-600 VH-FVN (CN 1039)      File Photo

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating a worrying incident involving a Virgin Australia ATR 72-600 VH-FVN in which both engines on the regional turboprop aircraft “flamed out” while flying in rain on Monday.
The incident, which occurred near Canberra airport, involved flight VA 660 from Sydney to Canberra. “While the aircraft was descending through 11,000ft in heavy rain, the right engine’s power rolled back (decreased) and the engine flamed out.
“The engine automatically restarted within five seconds,” the ATSB said.
“The descent continued and, while passing through 10,000ft, the left engine’s power also rolled back and that engine flamed out before automatically relighting.”  (The aircraft is powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127M turboprops.)
Luckily, the plane’s crew manually ignited the engines for the remainder of the flight and the landing.
The aircraft remained on the ground in Canberra for the following three days, before returning to service operating a flight to Sydney on Monday morning. 
The flight which is normally 45 minutes lasted 1 hour 27 according to the Flightradar24 website after holding and manoeuvring.
The ATSB says it has begun the evidence collection phase of its investigation into the incident, and that it has downloaded the aircraft’s flight data recorder. Investigations typically take 12 months to be completed, but the safety investigator says that: “Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so appropriate action can be taken.”

VH-FVN was delivered new to Skywest Airlines, for operations on behalf of Virgin Australia, in September 2012 (a month before Virgin Australia announced its intention to acquire Skywest, which was subsequently renamed Virgin Australia Regional Airlines).

Tuesday 18 December 2018

All four Australian Airlines under investigation

Jetstar named 'worst offender' as Qantas, Virgin and Tigerair also investigated for misleading refund policies

                                                                                             File Photo

Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Tigerair are fixing their refund policies, following an investigation by the consumer watchdog.

The companies misled customers by limiting refunds, or refusing to offer them, in circumstances where they were entitled to one. It covers situations where the airline cancelled the flight or failed to provide services in a "reasonable time" — for example due to "significant delays".
Tigerair was investigated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) because it charged consumers a "refund admin fee". It only entitled them to credit which was valid for the next six months instead of a cash refund. Qantas acknowledged it may have misled its customers into thinking they could not get refunds for its cheaper "Red e-deal" fares.
Virgin told consumers refunds would not be offered for "Domestic Gateway" and "International Short-Haul" fares, and they would only receive credit which was valid for 12 months.
"This is an extremely widespread issue," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

                                                                                           File Photo

"For too long, airlines have ignored consumer rights … we really have to fix this going forward."
However, Australian consumer law does not protect consumers who missed their flight or voluntarily cancelled due to a change of mind.

The 'worst offender'

Jetstar was singled out as the "worst offender" because it made "many more" false claims compared to the other airlines, Mr Sims said. The ACCC took legal action against the low-cost airline in the Federal Court, and the airline has admitted to wrongdoing.
The regulator is seeking orders for a $1.95 million penalty against Jetstar.
"No matter how cheap the fares are, airlines cannot make blanket statements to consumers that flights are non-refundable," Mr Sims said.

                                                                                               File Photo

"It's frustrating for travellers when they have difficulty getting a refund for flights when they are entitled to one."
Furthermore, Jetstar admitted its website contained misleading statements about fares being non-refundable unless customers bought a more expensive ticket. Jetstar also misleadingly told customers their consumer rights under Australian consumer law did not apply, according to its terms and conditions.  "This case is important not only for holding Jetstar to account, but sending a wider message that businesses cannot exclude or limit consumers' rights under the Australian consumer law," Mr Sims said. At the time Jetstar breached consumer laws, the maximum penalties were $1.1 million per offence, which Mr Sims acknowledged was "unquestionably deficient".
But he said under tougher laws introduced in November, companies will now be fined $10 million per breach, or 10 per cent of their annual turnover — whichever is the harsher penalty.

                                                                                             File Photo

Customer remedies

All four airlines have given court-enforceable undertakings to review their refund policies and comply with consumer laws.
If they commit further breaches, the ACCC can take them to court and impose higher penalties under the new laws.  Qantas and Jetstar have committed to reviewing any complaints it received between April 10, 2017 and March 13, 2018 as a result of flight delays or cancellations — and will compensate customers who were wrongfully denied refunds.
Virgin will review complaints for a slightly wider period, between January 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018.
Tigerair has not provided information on which time periods, if any, it will audit for the purpose of issuing customer refunds.
Many thousands of customers will fall outside those narrow time periods, but that will not prevent them from seeking compensation.
"The undertakings we received are more [like] a proactive offer … based on the airlines' [available] records," Mr Sims said.
"If you've got the records, by all means you can approach the airlines and assert your rights."

Full story sourced from here

Sunday 16 December 2018

How can you tell its Christmas

How can you tell Christmas is getting close.. by the carols and decorations I hear you say... well NO!   Its by the threat of the airlines to strike over the Christmas period. So far three airlines, Tigerair Australia; Air New Zealand and Virgin Atlantic have all threatened disruptions over the Christmas period.

                                                                                      File Photo

Tigerair Australia pilots say they will take industrial action starting next Friday that could disrupt pre-Christmas travel plans for thousand of passengers, after negotiations for a new wage deal reached a deadlock. The Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) said its Tigerair pilots had voted on Thursday overwhelmingly in favour of protected industrial actions that could result in flights being delayed. AFAP industrial officer James Lauchland said negotiations over a new enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) had broken down, with the union seeking a deal that recognised pilots had not had a pay increase for over two years. The union has notified the airline that starting on December 21, pilots will refuse to fly jets with minor, non-safety related defects; refuse to start work within 90 minutes of being called in from stand-by; and conduct in-air go-slows but not exceeding certain speeds or taking route short-cuts. The industrial action would not be conducted on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, to minimise disruption to the travelling public, Mr Lauchland said.
A spokeswoman for Tigerair, which is owned by Virgin Australia, said it continued to negotiate "in good faith" with its pilots and looked forward to "reaching a mutually beneficial outcome as soon as possible".

                                                                                        File Photo

Flights between Australia and New Zealand leading up to Christmas could be disrupted or cancelled due to a union dispute at the Kiwi national carrier, which threatens to up-end travel plans for thousands of people. Air New Zealand said on Friday that unions representing about a thousand aircraft maintenance engineers, logistics staff and related workers had notified it that their members intended to launch a total strike on Friday, December 21. The airline said 42,000 customers were booked to travel on international and domestic services that day - its busiest of the year - and now faced the prospect of their flights being cancelled. The dispute could also disrupt flights operated by Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin, which use Air New Zealand's engineers for ground work on the other side of the Tasman.

                                                                                      File Photo

A group of Virgin Atlantic pilots are set to strike over Christmas and the New Year – sparking fears of major travel disruption. Pilots who are members of the Professional Pilots Union (PPU) will walk out from December 22-25 over the festive period. They are also planning another two strikes into the start of 2019 from December 30 to January 2 and January 4-7 inclusive. But Virgin has insisted there will be any disruption to its flight schedule. The strike will be carried out in a dispute over union recognition, the PPU said. “It’s the last straw; Virgin Atlantic have consistently refused to recognise the PPU as a legitimate and independent union, essentially disenfranchising our members,” said PPU spokesman Steve Johnson, a former Virgin pilot. “Despite the rhetoric that consultations are inclusive of all staff and unions, in practice this doesn’t happen. "We hope that Virgin acknowledge the mandate our members have given us, and help avoid strike action by recognising the PPU and halt the benefits review that is so damaging to our members long-term security.

Stories sourced from here

Happy 59th Birthday China Airlines

China Airlines.png

IATA ICAO Callsign

CHINA AIRLINES B747-409 B-18215 (CN 33737)      File Photo 

Despite being founded on the 7th September 1959 with a fleet of two PBY Amphibians and one C54 aircraft, China Airlines commenced operations on the 16th December 1959 with 26 employees. It shares were completely held by the Taiwan government. It was founded by a retired air force officer and initially concentrated on charter flights. During the 1960s, China Airlines was able to establish its first scheduled routes. In October 1962, a flight from Taipei to Hualien became the airline's first domestic service. Later, with the introduction of Caravelle and Boeing 727-100s, the airlines introduced international flights to South Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Japan. With the airlines' first two Boeing 707 aircraft, trans-Pacific flights to San Francisco via Tokyo were initiated on 2 February 1970. The expansion of the company's 707 fleet also permitted more services in Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia, and North America (via Japan and Hawaii). China Airlines is Taiwan's largest airline, it has its headquarters in Taoyuan International Airport and operates over 1400 flights weekly (including 91 pure cargo flights) to 102 cities across Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania. China Airlines is 10th largest airline in the world in terms of passenger revenue per kilometre (RPK) and freight RPK, respectively. China Airlines has three airline subsidiaries: China Airlines Cargo, Mandarin Airlines operates flights to domestic and low-demand regional destinations and Tigerair Taiwan, a low-cost carrier established by China Airlines and Singaporean airline group Tigerair Holdings, but is now wholly owned by China Airlines Group. China Airlines was voted no: 35 (same ranking as last year) in the top 100 best airlines for 2018 as awarded by Skytrax.
China Airlines moto is
"Spread your wings - Enjoy the world"

CHINA AIRLINES A330-302 B-18305 (CN 0671)      File photo

As of October 2018 China Airlines employees stood at 12,425 and their fleet consists of the following aircraft:

Information sourced from, Wikipedia, China Airlines website and Airline Finder

Saturday 15 December 2018

Flight returns to Seattle after human heart was left onboard

Reading this story just now you have to wonder how true these stories are or even more so.. how can this happen. If a live heart is being transported wouldn't you think there would be medical staff travelling with it and an ambulance waiting at the destination airport and many other procedures in place?

On Sunday afternoon, a Southwest Airlines flight bound for Dallas made a hairpin turn over eastern Idaho and headed back for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The reason, the captain told passengers: Someone forgot to unload a human heart. Dr. Andrew Gottschalk recalled that his fellow passengers went through a series of reactions to the news, the first shock. A human heart being transported on a commercial carrier? But the next reaction was of kindness because everyone on board “was happy to save a life,” he said. The captain went on to explain that the heart should have been left in Seattle after an earlier flight from Sacramento.
Then horror sank in, Gottschalk said, as some passengers with an internet connections began to research how long a heart could be viable for a transplant — mere hours.
Southwest confirmed that the flight had to return to Seattle on Sunday afternoon after officials realized the plane was still carrying the heart intended for delivery to a hospital.
But additional details, including its intended destination and what it was being used for, remain unclear. Also unknown is whether anyone’s life was ever in danger.

Southwest flight 3606 landed at Sea-Tac after about three hours in the air, and the “life-critical cargo shipment” was unloaded from the plane, Southwest spokesman Dan Landson said by email. He added that Southwest made the decision to return because it was “absolutely necessary to deliver the shipment to its destination in the Seattle area as quickly as possible.”
“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers and the safe delivery of the precious cargo we transport every day,” Landson said.
The sender was a company that specializes in shipments that are “life critical,” which can mean organs for transplant, medications or specimens for treatments, said Southwest, which did not provide the name of the company.
But no Seattle-area hospitals said they were involved. Spokeswomen for regional organ-procurement organizations in Washington and California both said they never use commercial flights for heart transplants. “We only use private flights,” said Katherine Pliska, spokeswoman for LifeCenter Northwest, the organization that facilitates the transfer of organs for transplant in the region. “There’s a time limit to get where it needs to go.” Southwest and many other airlines work with companies that ship organs for transplants, among other perishables such as human remains, to maximize revenue, though it accounts for less than 1 percent of Southwest’s total revenue, the Dallas Business Journal reported last year. Other parts of a heart, such as heart valves and vessels, can be recovered when a whole heart transplant isn’t feasible, according to LifeCenter Northwest.
Passenger Gottschalk, a doctor who cares for professional athletes at his medical practice in New Orleans, called the incident a “horrific story of gross negligence,” no matter where the heart was intended to go.
“The heart in question travelled from California, to Washington, to the other side of Idaho, and back to Washington,” he said. Once on the ground, passengers were also told to deplane — the aircraft had an unrelated mechanical issue, Landson said. After a five-hour delay, the passengers once again took off for Dallas.

Aircraft Details
Airline: Southwest
Code: WN / SWA
Aircraft: B737-7BD
Registration: N7726A
Serial Number: 33924

Full story sourced from here

Friday 14 December 2018

Friday Morning at Brisbane Airport

This morning after landing in Brisbane from what could be only described as an extremely uncomfortable flight.. (moderate turbulence for lengthy periods of time) I decided to do some plane spotting from the top level car park for a while.

VH-PSU (CN 560-0515)


HEVILIFT ATR-72-500 VH-FVM (CN 0979)



AIR NIUGINI B767-431 PXV (CN 30341)


FRONT: QANTAS B737-838 VH-VZO (CN 34191)

EMBRAER LEGACY 500 N142GZ (CN 55000008)

TIGERAIR A320-232 VH-VNF (CN 3332)

AIR NEW ZEALAND B777-219 ZK-OKF (CN 34378)

CHINA EASTERN A330-243 B5937 (CN 1468)

The weather was also bad on the Sunshine Coast today as a Virgin flight from Melbourne tried to make an approach in Maroochydore and performed a missed approached. The flight ended up diverting to Brisbane.


QANTAS B787-9 VH-ZNC (CN 39040)
AIR CANADA B787-8 C-GHPX (CN 35261)
QANTAS A330-303 VH-QPE (CN 0593)

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Tigerair Australia to resume international flights

TIGERAIR A320-232 VH-XUH (CN 6749)         File Photo

Virgin Australia has moved one step closer to potentially deploying its low-cost carrier unit Tigerair Australia on international flights. Australia’s International Air Services Commission (IASC) has approved Virgin Australia’s application to vary a number of its traffic rights agreements to include a condition permitting Tigerair Australia to utilise the allocated capacity.
The applications, made in August, covered Virgin Australia’s traffic rights for the Cook Islands, New Zealand, the Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.
At the time, the company said the applications were “part of streamlining the economic regulatory arrangements underpinning our international operations”.
The IASC approved the requests on November 30, noting in its decisions there was “public benefit arising from the proposed use of the capacity” by Tigerair Australia on the above routes.
“The Commission has come to the view that Tiger International is reasonably capable of obtaining any licences, permits or other approvals required to operate on and service the route; and of using the capacity allocated under the determination,” the IASC said.

LEFT - TIGERAIR B737-838 VH-VUD (CN 34015)   File Photo
RIGHT - TIGERAIR B737-838 VH-VOY (CN 33996)                      

Tigerair Australia previously operated international flights in 2016 and 2017.
In March 2016, the airline started flights to Bali from Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth with Boeing 737-800s, taking over flights previously operated by Virgin Australia.
Less than a year later, in February 2017, Tigerair Australia was forced to withdraw from Bali after reaching an impasse with Indonesian regulators over its operating permits to serve the popular Indonesian tourist destination.
Since then, its focus has been on expanding in the Australian domestic market and pressing ahead with a fleet transition from Airbus A320s to Boeing 737-800s.



Virgin Australia raised the prospect of Tigerair Australia being deployed on trans-Tasman routes after Air New Zealand announced it was walking away from its alliance with the Australian carrier in favour of going it alone in the trans-Tasman market.
Air New Zealand said it April one of the reasons for terminating the seven-year joint-venture, which officially ended on October 28 2018, was to deliver a more consistent customer experience with its own aircraft.
Since then, it has signed a codeshare agreement with Qantas for access to Australian domestic destinations it does not fly to. There was no code sharing or coordination on trans-Tasman services and the arrangement did not require regulator approval on either side of the Tasman.
Meanwhile, Virgin Australia has scheduled new flights to Auckland, Queenstown and Wellington – including a seasonal Newcastle-Auckland service – while Air New Zealand has boosted its schedule to Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Melbourne and Sydney.

Story sourced from here, photos are mine.