Sunday 31 March 2019

Happy Birthday British Airways

British Airways Logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign

British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) was the British state-owned airline created in November 1939 by the merger of Imperial Airways and British Airways Ltd. It continued operating overseas services throughout World War II. After the passing of the Civil Aviation Act of 1946, European and South American services passed to two further state-owned airlines, British European Airways (BEA) and British South American Airways (BSAA). BOAC absorbed BSAA in 1949, but BEA continued to operate British domestic and European routes for the next quarter century. British Airways was created in 1974 after a British Airways Board was established by the British government to manage the two nationalised airline corporations, British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) and British European Airways, and two regional airlines, Cambrian Airways from Cardiff, and Northeast Airlines from Newcastle upon Tyne. On the 31st March 1974, all four companies were merged to form British Airways. After almost 13 years as a state company, BA was privatised in February 1987 as part of a wider privatisation plan by the Conservative government. The carrier expanded with the acquisition of British Caledonian in 1987, Dan-Air in 1992, and British Midland International in 2012. British Airways or BA is the flag carrier and the second largest airline in the United Kingdom based on fleet size and passengers carried, behind easyJet. The airline is based in Waterside near its main hub at London Heathrow Airport (LHR/EGLL). In January 2011 BA merged with Iberia, creating the International Airlines Group (IAG), a holding company registered in Madrid, Spain. IAG is the world's third-largest airline group in terms of annual revenue and the second-largest in Europe.

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

British Airways is a founding member of the Oneworld airline alliance, along with American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, and the now defunct Canadian Airlines (ceased operations 1st January 2001) . The alliance has since grown to become the third largest, after SkyTeam and Star Alliance. British Airways uses the callsign "SPEEDBIRD" after the Speedbird emblem. 

The stylised emblem of a bird in flight and it was designed in 1932 by Theyre Lee-Elliott as the corporate logo for Imperial Airways. 

BRITISH AIRWAYS B777-336 G-STBF (CN 40543)     File Photo 

British Airways has announced that four aircraft would receive retro liveries. The first of these is Boeing 747-400 G-BYGC which was repainted into a British Overseas Airways Corporation livery, which it will retain until retirement in 2023. Two more Boeing 747-400s are to be repainted with former British Airways liveries. One will wear the "Landor" livery, the other will wear the original "Union Jack" livery. An Airbus A319 is to be repainted into British European Airways livery.

Current fleet

As of 28 March 2019, the British Airways fleet consists of the following aircraft:

British Airways fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes
F J W Y Total
Airbus A318-100 1 32 32 Operates specialty route between London City Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport
Airbus A319-100 42 143 143 22 older aircraft to be retired by 2023 One to be painted in British European Airways retro livery
144 144
Airbus A320-200 67 168 168
177 177
Airbus A320neo 10 15 180 180
Airbus A321-200 18 23 131 154
199 199
Airbus A321neo 4 6220 220 
Airbus A350-1000 1856 56 219 331 Entry into service in 2019
Airbus A380-800 12 14 97 55 303 469
Boeing 747-400 34 14 86 30 145 275 All to be retired by 2024
To be replaced by Boeing 777-9 One painted in BOAC retro liveryOne painted in 1990s Landor livery 
14 52 36 235 337
Boeing 777-200 3 17 48 24 127 216 To be replaced by 777-300ER
Boeing 777-200ER 43 14 48 40 124 226
48 24 203 275
32 52 252 336
Boeing 777-300ER 12 414 56 44 185 299
Boeing 777-9 18 8 65 46 206 325 Order includes 24 options
Boeing 787-8 12 35 25 154 214
Boeing 787-9 18 8 42 39 127 216
Boeing 787-10 12 
Total 276 73

Information sourced from various sites using Wikipedia and BA website

Friday 29 March 2019

WOW Air goes into receivership - thousands strandard

WOW air logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign

Icelandic's low cost carrier WOW Air has suddenly ceased all operations, stranding thousands of passengers across two continents. In a statement on its website, the airline, which had earlier suspended all its flights, told passengers there would be no further flights and advised them to check flights with other airlines for ways to reach their destinations. The statement can be read here; WOW Air was founded in November 2011 and operated its inaugural flight on the 31st May 2012. WOW air was founded by entrepreneur Skúli Mogensen whose extensive business background was largely in technology and telecoms in Iceland, Europe, and North America. The sole owner of WOW air is Titan, an investment company owned by Mogensen, who is the company CEO and sits on the five-person board of directors. Mogensen said more than a 1,000 passengers had been affected by the grounding of aircraft. Its bankruptcy comes after six months of turbulent negotiations to sell the low-cost carrier, first to its main rival and flagship carrier Icelandair and later to Indigo Partners, an American company operating the airline Wizz.  WOW Air operated services between Iceland, Europe, Asia, and North America using Airbus A320 / A321 fleet. The airline was headquartered in Reykjavík and based at Keflavík International Airport (KEF/BIKF). In its early years, the airline expanded fast to 37 destinations and reported up to 60 per cent annual growth in passenger numbers. Its revenue per passenger, however, has not kept up and fell by about 20 per cent in 2017, according to the last earnings report. WOW grounded at least six planes in North America that were set to leave late Wednesday from Montreal, Toronto, Boston, Detroit, New York and Baltimore. In Europe, Reykjavik-bound planes from seven cities — Amsterdam, Dublin, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Frankfurt and Copenhagen — did not take off Thursday morning. WOW is the latest budget airline to collapse as the European airline sector grapples with over-capacity and high fuel costs. Recent failures include Britain's Flybmi, Nordic budget airline Primera Air and Cypriot counterpart Cobalt.

As of March 2019, WOW air had an all-Airbus fleet, consisting of the following aircraft:

WOW Air fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
W Y Total
Airbus A320neo 1 178 178
Airbus A321-200 5 8 192 200 1 wet-leased to Aruba Airlines
3 8 202 210
Airbus A321neo 2 8 192 200
Total 11

The Lufthansa Group, which includes Swiss, Lufthansa and Austrian airlines, is offering 25 percent off the ticket price if you depart by the 30th April and complete your trip by the 30th June. Proof of a Wow ticket is required. Icelandair, which services many of the same routes as Wow, will offer reduced return fares between the 28th March and April 11th: Aer Lingus is offering rescue fares through to the 11th April. For example, a one-way fare from Paris to Reagan National Airport costs about $246; the London-to-Washington rescue rate is about $208, including taxes. To qualify, passengers must have a ticket on Wow within the next 11 days and must reserve the Aer Lingus flight by phone. Norwegian Air is discounting economy fares by 25 percent from the 29th March to April 8th. Virgin Atlantic has also tweeted its assistance to passengers stuck in the United States, Britain or Canada. To take advantage of its reduced fares, you must book by the 6th April and complete your travel by the 30th April.

Sydney airport control tower evacuated due to smoke


Sydney Airport's control tower has been evacuated due to a fire, sparking chaos at the facility with no planes cleared to take off. Emergency services were called around 11.40am to the air traffic control centre. Fire and Rescue NSW said 20 people needed to be evacuated from the building. Some flights are being allowed to land. Air Services Australia tweeted: "The Sydney Air Traffic Control Tower has been evacuated after smoke was detected."  "There is a full ground stop in place with no aircraft departing or arriving at this time at Sydney Airport." One passenger on a flight bound for Los Angeles said he could see fire trucks from the window of his grounded plane. "Virgin has decided to refuel to make use of the time and speed things up once we get going — people onboard are mainly bored and restless with kids crying and complaining," he said. "My wife and others on the right side are watching the tower out the windows. "We can see fire trucks from here but no smoke." One man, on a flight bound for Bali said the pilot had told passengers "he had not heard from the control tower" and that no planes were taking off or landing. Another passenger was on a Tiger flight when the crew announced a smoke alarm had gone off. He said passengers were told all flights were grounded. "Everyone was calm but annoyed".

SYDNEY TOWER           File Photo

The control tower was back up and running just before 1pm today (local time) with arrivals beginning to be processed. “Aircraft are landing, albeit at a slower rate,” Air Services Australia said. A malfunctioning battery pack, attached to the tower’s computer system had started to smoke at 11.40am today on the first level of the building, causing the fire alarm to go off.
Twenty people were evacuated from the building as Fire and Rescue used thermal imaging technology to find the source of the smoke. “The internal components of the battery pack system had started to smoke which created that nasty, electrical burning smell,” Mr Jonas said.
An electrician has been called to get rid of the smoking battery pack and Fire and Rescue were on scene to test the air quality and make sure the component did not catch alight.

Happy Birthday Thai Airways

Thai Airways Logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign

Thai Airways was founded on the 29th March 1960 as a joint venture between Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), which held a 30 per cent share of the new company valued at two million Thai baht, and Thailand's domestic carrier, Thai Airways Company. The purpose of the joint venture was to create an international wing for the domestic carrier Thai Airways Company. SAS also provided operational, managerial, and marketing expertise, with training assistance aimed at building a fully independent national airline within the shortest possible time. The carrier's first revenue flight was on the 1st May 1960. Flights were operated to nine overseas Asian destinations from Bangkok.  The airline's first intercontinental services using Douglas DC-8s started in 1971 to Australia, and then to Europe the following year. A number of the larger Douglas DC-10 wide-body tri-jet was acquired in the later 1970s. Services to North America commenced late 1980.
On the 1st April 1977, after 17 years of capital participation by SAS, the Thai government bought out the remaining 30 per cent of SAS-owned shares and Thai became an airline wholly owned by the Thai government. Thai Airways International Public Company Limited, trading as THAI is the flag carrier airline of Thailand. The airline has its corporate headquarters in Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, Chatuchak District, Bangkok, and primarily operates from Suvarnabhumi Airport. THAI is a founding member of the Star Alliance group. The airline is the second-largest shareholder of the low-cost carrier Nok Air with a 21.80 per cent stake, and it launched a regional carrier under the name Thai Smile in the middle of 2012 using new Airbus A320 aircraft. From its hub at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK/VTBS) and secondary hub at Phuket International Airport (HKT/VTSP) Thai flies to 84 destinations in 37 countries, using a fleet of over 80 aircraft. The airline was once the operator of two of the world's longest non-stop routes between Bangkok and Los Angeles and New York City, but due to high fuel prices, the withdrawal of aircraft, luggage weight limits and rising airfares, the airline abandoned all non-stop US services in 2012 indefinitely. Thai's route network is dominated by flights to Europe, East Asia, and South/Southwest Asia, though the airline serves five cities in Oceania. Thai was the first Asia-Pacific airline to serve London Heathrow Airport.

THAI B747-4D7 HS-TGK (CN 24993)               File Photo

In 2006, THAI moved its hub operations to the new Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. Coinciding with the arrival of new aircraft, as well as its new hub airport in Bangkok, the airline launched a brand renewal by introducing a new aircraft livery, new aircraft seating, and revamped ground and air services.

THAI B777-2D7 HS-TJS (CN 34578)           File Photo

Thai has placed orders for a number of aircraft, including the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, and it has also launched a refurbishment of its Boeing 747 and 777 cabins. Mindful of rising fuel costs, the airline has now phased-out the most inefficient aircraft, including its Airbus A340-500s. The airline took delivery of its first Airbus A380 aircraft in the second half of 2012, intending to eventually deploy the aircraft on its core European routes.

Current fleet

As of March 2019, the mainline Thai Airways fleet consists of the following aircraft:

Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
F C Y Total
Airbus A330-300 12 36 263 299 One of aircraft (HS-TBD) is a star alliance livery
3 31 263 294 New regional configuration. Used for flights to Narita, Perth, Krabi and Vietnam
Airbus A350-900 12 32 289 321
Airbus A380-800 6 12 60 435 507
Boeing 747-400 7 10 40 325 375 Five aircraft to be retired by 2022 One of aircraft (HS-TGW) is a star alliance livery
9 374
Boeing 777-200 6 30 279 309
Boeing 777-200ER 6 30 262 292
Boeing 777-300 6 34 330 364
Boeing 777-300ER 14 42 306 348
Boeing 787-8 6 22 234 256 HS-TQC, HS-TQD and HS-TQE are grounded.
Boeing 787-9 2 30 268 298
Total 80

Company sloganFly Smooth as Silk

Thursday 28 March 2019

Boeing 737 Max worries continue

A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max made an emergency landing in Orlando, Florida, (MCO/KMCO)  yesterday after experiencing an engine problem. The crew of SW 8701 declared an emergency just after taking off from Orlando International Airport at 2.50pm (local time) and returned to the airport safely 10 minutes later. No passengers were on board as the aircraft was being ferried to Victorville, California, (VCV/KVCV) where Southwest is storing the aeroplane because of a nationwide commercial flight ban. The 737 Max was grounded in the United States on the 13th March after a deadly crash involving a Max in Ethiopia on the 10th March. It was the second fatal crash involving the plane model in the past five months. Airlines are allowed to shuttle the planes but cannot carry passengers. The FAA said it's investigating but the emergency was not related to anti-stall software that is suspected as a cause of the two fatal crashes, including one last year involving a plane from Indonesia. Airport spokeswoman Carolyn Fennell said one of the airport's three runways was shut down for cleaning after the landing. She said it was standard procedure to check a runway for debris after an emergency landing. It wasn't clear if any parts actually fell off the plane. Southwest said the plane's pilots reported a "performance issue" with an engine shortly after taking off for the California airport, where it was flying to be in short-term storage. The Max 8 jet was to be moved to Southwest's Orlando maintenance facility to be checked, a company statement said. Yesterday's development comes as the American manufacturer Boeing struggles to cope with the fallout from the two crashes, which have cast a spotlight on the safety certification process and shaken confidence in a plane that is crucial to its future plans. The Boeing 737 Max is the fastest-selling aircraft in the company's history with roughly 370 delivered so far and some 4,700 more on order.
Some airlines have said they are reevaluating existing orders of the 737 Max in the wake of the deadly crashes, including Virgin Australia who has 40 on order.

Orders and deliveries by customer

The following table shows total firm orders and deliveries of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft by customer, As of the 28th  February 2019.

Order dateCustomer Variant Total Orders Total Deliveries
-7 -8 -9 -10 Unk
May 15, 2014 9 Air 1 1 1
June 12, 2015AerCap8515100 5
September 29, 2016Aerolíneas Argentinas11-11 2
November 5, 2012Aeroméxico1124760 6
March 31, 2014Air Canada701161 23
December 22, 2014Air China1415 15
December 21, 2015Air Europa2020
July 3, 2012Air Lease Corporation148146168 14
December 1, 2014Air Niugini44
September 18, 2018Air Peace1010
October 31, 2012ALAFCO4040
October 11, 2012Alaska Airlines3232
February 1, 2013American Airlines100100 24
May 9, 2016Arik Air88
December 20, 2012Aviation Capital Group7010203103 5
September 18, 2012Avolon65102095 3
March 17, 2016Blue Air66
August 13, 2014BOC Aviation771087 7
June 1, 2018 Boeing Capital Corporation 75 75
March 21, 2014Business Jet / VIP Customer(s)21922 2
June 14, 2017CALC China153550
November 21, 2018 Caribbean Airlines  12 12
September 28, 2018 CDB Financial Leasing (Ireland) 1 1 1
March 14, 2014China Development Bank681078 1
June 17, 2014China Eastern Airlines1314 14
December 17, 2015China Southern Airlines5050 16
June 19, 2013CIT Leasing Corporation3737
December 3, 2013Comair (South Africa)88 1
May 30, 2013Copa Airlines4115561 6
September 27, 2016Donghai Airlines151025
October 29, 2014Enter Air246 2
September 1, 2014Ethiopian Airlines3030 5
March 31, 2017 Fiji Airways 5 5 2
December 31, 2013Flydubai1317050
251 14
September 12, 2014Garuda Indonesia11 1
September 28, 2012GECAS150206176 25
October 1, 2012Gol Transportes Aéreos10530135 6
June 28, 2018 Goshawk Aviation 20 20
July 16, 2014Hainan Airlines347 7
May 21, 2013ICBC Leasing55 5
February 12, 2013Icelandair325 3
June 29, 2018 Jackson Square Aviation 30 30
November 19, 2018 Jeju Air 40 40
April 23, 2013Jet Airways1251256
December 11, 2014Jetlines55
August 17, 2017Japan Investment Advisor1010
November 9, 2015Korean Air3030
February 22, 2012Lion Air10410087201 14
July 1, 2016Malaysia Airlines151025
November 18, 2016Mauritania Airlines International11 1
May 16, 2014Nok Air66
January 24, 2012Norwegian Air Shuttle110110 18
May 27, 2014Okay Airways99
October 19, 2015Oman Air3030 5
December 29, 2016 Qatar Airways 5 5 5
July 4, 2013 Royal Air Maroc 4 1 1
December 21, 2013Ruili Airlines63036
November 28, 2014Ryanair135135
March 28, 2018 SCAT Airlines 6 2 1 1
April 29, 2014 Shandong Airlines 6 6 6
December 30, 2014 Shenzhen Airlines 5 5 5
November 9, 2012SilkAir3737 5
March 13, 2018 SkyUp Airlines 2 5 7
September 21, 2018 Smartwings 8 8 1
November 10, 2014SMBC Aviation Capital9191 2
December 13, 2011Southwest Airlines30250280 31
October 23, 2013SpiceJet11620136 7
February 12, 2014SunExpress151732
June 16, 2018 TAROM 5 5
January 15, 2014Timaero Ireland2222 2
July 9, 2013TUI Group541872 14
May 8, 2013Turkish Airlines651075 12
October 17, 2018 Turkmenistan Airlines 3 3
October 1, 2012Unidentified Customer(s)942942
July 12, 2012United Airlines36100137 14
April 6, 2018 UTair Aviation 28 28
May 22, 2016VietJet Air12080200
July 6, 2012Virgin Australia301040
September 26, 2013WestJet23201255 12
December 21, 2013 XiamenAir 9 9 9
Total 61 2590 242 579 1588 4987 381
List sourced from Wikipedia

Aircraft Details
Airline: Southwest Airlines
Code: WN/SWA
Aircraft: Boeing 737-8Max
Registration: N8712L
Serial Number: 36930
Engines: 2 x CFMI LEAP 1B
First Flew: 18/09/2017
Age: 1 Yrs 5 Mths