Wednesday 31 March 2021

The Royal Australian Air Force Turns 100 today


Today, the 31st March 2021, the RAAF turns 100 years old. * * Founded in 1921, their history has been one of duty, dedication and sacrifice. More than 350,000 Australians have served with them over the last century - and more than 11,000 have died in service. Their commitment and sacrifice will never be forgotten. Today, all who proudly wear their uniform carry a deep sense of duty to serve our nation, protect its people, and to safeguard its future for the generations that will follow us Then, Now. Always. 

The RAAF commemorate their Centenary with a spectacular flypast of more than 60 aircraft over Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, starting at 10.30am. You'll also be able to watch live from 10.00am local time on the ABC or on the RAAF Facebook page.

RAAF Time Line

31st March 1921
The Australian Air Force (AAF) is formed
The formation of the Australian Air Force was announced in the Australian Government Gazette on 31 March 1921. Later in the year on 13 August, following receipt of approval from the King, the Governor General signed an order authorising the use of ‘Royal’ making this the start date for the use of the Royal Australian Air Force name.
RAAF Point Cook is located on the shores of Port Phillip Bay, 20 kilometres south west of the Melbourne central business district, near the township of Werribee, Victoria and is synonymous with the birth of military aviation in Australia.

10th January 1922
First Air Force non-technical training course graduates
Around 240 Officers and Airmen complete three months of training.

15th June 1922
Aircraft production begins in Australia with the Avro 504K
Avro 504K trainer became the first aircraft built in Australia for the RAAF.

19th May 1924
First round Australia aerial survey flight
First round Australia aerial survey flight by Air Force’s acting Chief of the Air Staff, Wing Commander S.J. (‘Jimmy’) Goble, and pilot, Flying Officer Ivor McIntyre.

1st July 1925
Establishment of RAAF Base Richmond
RAAF Base Richmond lies approximately 50 kilometres north-west of Sydney, and is situated between the towns of Richmond, from which the base takes its name, and Windsor. Richmond was activated as a RAAF station when No. 3 (Composite) Squadron’s first 3 aircraft arrived there on 30 June 1925, as part of the unit’s relocation from Point Cook, Victoria.

1st March 1926
Establishment of RAAF Base Laverton (RAAF Base Williams - Laverton)
RAAF Williams - Laverton is located beside the Princes Highway next to the Laverton railway station, Victoria, about seven kilometres away from RAAF Base Point Cook. Since the airfield was decommissioned in 1996 there have been no flying units or flying activity at Laverton.

20th April 1936
Formation of Nos 21 and 22 Squadrons
Nos 21 and 22 Squadrons were raised as ‘Cadre’ units at Laverton, Victoria and Richmond, NSW respectively,

10th March 1938
Establishment of RAAF Base Pearce
RAAF Base Pearce was officially granted station status on 6 February 1939 and is located in the suburb of Bullsbrook, approximately 35 kilometres north of Perth, Western Australia. The base, the only permanent RAAF base on the west coast is home to No. 79 Squadron, No. 2 Flying Training School and No. 25 (City of Perth) Squadron as well as several other units, including No. 130 Squadron of the Republic of Singapore Air Force.

1st June 1940
Establishment of RAAF Base Darwin
Formed in June 1940, RAAF Base Darwin was very rapidly at the front line of Australia's defence at the outbreak of war in the Pacific. Darwin and its satellite fields housed a multitude of Australian and US units, operating throughout the South-West Pacific.

17th June 1940
Establishment of RAAF Base Amberley
RAAF Base Amberley commenced operations on 17 June 1940 with its initial role being a centre for flying training and recruiting.

31st July 1940
Establishment of RAAF Base Wagga Wagga
The origins of the Base are traced back to May 1939 when Prime Minister Robert Menzies announced that Forest Hill would become the site of the RAAF’s new flying school (No. 2 Service Flying Training School).

15th October 1940
Establishment of RAAF Base Townsville
In 1939, Townsville City Council transferred the city airport to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). RAAF Base Townsville was formed on 15 October 1940 and has a long and proud association with the people of North Queensland.

15th February 1941
Establishment of RAAF Base Williamtown
RAAF Base Williamtown is strategically positioned to the North of Newcastle in the Port Stephens area. The history and expansion of RAAF Williamtown since its establishment during World War II is directly linked to the evolution of air power and the technological advances in tactical fighter and surveillance aircraft.

31st August 1944
Air Force reaches its highest strength during World War II
The RAAF attained its highest strength during World War II on this day, at almost 182 000 personnel (162 846 males and 19 031 females).

30th January 1951
Women’s Royal Australian Air Force
Women’s Royal Australian Air Force (WRAAF) commences recruit training on this day.

13th December 1958
C-130A Hercules Touches Down at Richmond
The first C-130A Hercules touched down at Richmond airbase on delivery from the United States, beginning a new era in RAAF airlift.

19th March 1964
Establishment of RAAF Base Fairbairn
Headquarters RAAF Station Canberra ceased to function on 31 May 1952 and Headquarters RAAF Canberra was formed the next day. Ten years later, on 19 March 1962, the name was again changed, to Headquarters RAAF Fairbairn, in honour of J.V. Fairbairn, the former Minister for Air who died in an air crash in Canberra on 13 August 1940.

22nd April 1964
Introduction of the Caribou
Three DHC-4 Caribou Mk 1 light transports arrived at RAAF Base Richmond on delivery from the De Havilland Aircraft Company of Canada.

13th May 1968
Introduction of P-3B Orion Aircraft
Australia’s initial order for ten P-3B Orions to equip No 11 Squadron for maritime patrol duties was delayed in 1968, not arriving until this day.

14th September 1970
Air Force takes delivery of F-4E Phantom Aircraft
The first five of 24 F-4E Phantom aircraft, arrived at RAAF Base Amberley.

23rd November 1981
Air Force Ensign

The first example of a new ensign featuring the Air Force's ‘leaping kangaroo’ roundel in place of the RAF cockade went on display in the office of the Chief of Air Staff, finally completing the process of evolving a distinctive flag for the Air Force. After receipt of Royal Assent during the Air Force's diamond jubilee year, the new Ensign was gazetted in 1982.

17th May 1985
Arrival of first F/A-18 Hornet Aircraft
The first two F/A-18 Hornets landed at RAAF Base Williamtown, New South Wales, on completion of their delivery flight from the US.

11th June 1988
Opening of RAAF Base Curtin
RAAF Base Curtin is a joint use military air base and civil airport located on the north coast of Western Australia about 35 kilometres south-east of Derby and 170 kilometres east of Broome, and covering an area of more than 25,000 hectares. Curtin is one of 3 RAAF bare bases that form an arc across the north of Australia, the others being Scherger on Cape York and Learmonth on the North West Cape peninsular of Western Australia. Although, during peacetime, Curtin is maintained by a small caretaker staff permanently stationed there, the base is activated for Defence Force exercises and operations by units deploying to the base from other parts of Australia.

30th June 1988
First Female Pilots
Flight Lieutenant Robyn Williams and Officer Cadet Deborah Hicks became the Air Force’s first female pilots.

31st March 1989
Establishment of RAAF Base Tindal
RAAF Base Tindal is located 15 kilometres outside Katherine in the Northern Territory and 320 kilometres by road south – east of Darwin. Tindal forms part of chain of airfields reaching from Learmonth in Western Australia to Townville in Queensland and is home to No, 75 Squadron, a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) fighter unit as well as several detachments and non-flying units belonging to the Combat Support and Surveillance and Response Groups.

11th August 2003
First Female Two-Star Ranking Air Force Officer
When Air Commodore Julie Hammer was promoted to Air Vice-Marshal, she became the first woman to achieve two-star rank in the Australian Defence Force.

26th November 2009
Introduction of the Wedgetail
No 2 Squadron took delivery of the first two Boeing Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft at RAAF Base Williamtown, NSW. Under the project, the Air Force would receive six airframes at a cost of A$3.4 billion, to herald a new era of aerial surveillance for the Australian Defence Force.

20th March 2010
First of the F/A-18 Super Hornet – Rhino’s Arrival
The first five of 24 Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet (Rhino) aircraft on order for the Air Force arrived at the RAAF Base Amberley, becoming the Air Force’s first new air combat aircraft in 25 years.

3rd December 2010
Farewell to the F-111
The Air Force’s fleet of F-111 bombers was retired after 37 years as the mainstay of Australia’s long-range strike capability.

1st June 2011
Delivery of KC-30A
The Air Force took delivery of the first of a planned total of five Airbus Military A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft, designated the KC-30A.

16th November 2016
Arrival of the P-8A Poseidon
The first P-8A Poseidon aircraft arrived in Canberra on this day.

10th December 2018
Arrival of the first F-35A Lightning II Aircraft
This date denotes the arrival of the first two F-35 Lightning aircraft to their new home at No 3 Squadron RAAF Base Williamtown, NSW.

1st November 2019
Heading to retirement of the AP-3C after 50 years of service
The Air Force began the draw down of the AP-3C Orion following the arrival of the P-8A Poseidon, after serving as Australia's primary Maritime Patrol aircraft.

Tuesday 30 March 2021

Brisbane lockdown leads to domestic border closures

Just as Australia’s domestic airlines were gearing up for a blockbuster Easter weekend, a COVID-19 outbreak in Brisbane threatens to put the brakes on the domestic airline industry’s rebound. Ten new COVID cases were recorded in Brisbane in the last 24 hours, with eight of them locally acquired. As of today Brisbane has gone into a three-day lockdown. With the Easter weekend just days away, a record weekend for the airline and tourist industry is under threat. After months of next to no cases of community transmission, the Brisbane outbreak threatens to disrupt the holiday plans of hundreds of thousands of people. Just weeks after the last internal border restriction was unwound, various Australian States have suddenly closed their borders to people coming from Brisbane.

The snap lockdown on Monday afternoon in Brisbane saw scores of passengers walk off a Queensland-bound plane in Sydney just before departure. So far, both Qantas and Virgin Australia are holding their nerve, hoping the lockdown isn’t extended and the beefed-up Easter schedules stay on track.

“While services are operating as normal today (Tuesday), changes to customer demand and booking trends may require us to adjust our forward schedule,” says a Virgin Australia spokesperson.

Likewise, Qantas hasn’t made any changes to its timetables. But the airline is keeping a very close eye on the situation.

Both airlines say their call centers are extremely busy and ask passengers not to call unless traveling within the next 72 hours.

With school holidays beginning later this week, Australia’s airlines were enjoying buoyant Easter weekend bookings. One airline spokesperson said the bookings were the best numbers he had seen in two years. While the current lockdown doesn’t extend outside metropolitan Brisbane, it runs a very real risk of doing so. There’s also the matter of rules changing and borders suddenly snapping shut while away on holidays with the kids.

Closed borders shatter confidence and ruin holidays

If the holidays go bust, it will shatter any re-emerging confidence people have when it comes to booking a flight ticket and putting down some cash in advance. That will have serious ramifications for a domestic airline industry that’s only just starting to get some traction again.

It is an evolving situation but three States and two Territories have already slapped restrictions on passengers coming back from Brisbane and other parts of Queensland. Western Australia has shut its border to everyone coming from anywhere in Queensland. Tasmania is requiring anyone coming in from the Greater Brisbane area to quarantine for 14 days. South Australia has closed its border to anyone arriving from the Greater Brisbane area. South Australia will let South Australians return home but they’ll have to self-isolate for 14 days.

The Australian Capital Territory (Canberra) and the Northern Territory are now requiring people arriving from Greater Brisbane to self-isolate until an on-arrival COVID test result comes back. None of these restrictions are conducive to a bumper Easter weekend.

The COVID cluster and subsequent Brisbane lockdown also threatens the imminent two-way travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia. That was expected to start in late April, with a date to be confirmed in early April. But New Zealand was already skittish and this may see them delay any travel bubble.

Story sourced from here
Brisbane Lockdown Leads To Domestic Border Closures - Simple Flying

Monday 29 March 2021

Happy 61st Birthday Thai Airways

Thai Airways Logo.svg

Thai Airways was founded on the 29th of 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 of 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) Before COVID Thai flew to 84 destinations in 37 countries, using a fleet of over 80 aircraft, now they have a fleet of 34 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 2021, the mainline Thai Airways fleet consists of the following aircraft:

AircraftIn ServiceOrdersPassengersNotes
Airbus A350-9001232289321
Boeing 777-200ER130262292HS-TJV still in active service.
Boeing 777-300ER14342306348Last 3 scheduled to be delivered in 2021
With Royal First Class configuration.
Boeing 787-8622234256
Boeing 787-9230268298
On the 2nd of March 2021 Thai Airways submitted its rehabilitation plan to the Central Bankruptcy Court, followed by a press conference. Announced plans for the future of the airline including its fleet adjustments, reducing number of aircraft types from 12 to 5 (or engine types from 9 to 4).

Company slogan 
Fly Smooth as Silk

Sunday 28 March 2021

Qantas flight attendant on trial for exposing himself to a colleague

A former senior Qantas flight attendant is accused of exposing himself to a female colleague and touching her breasts during a flight, but he claims he had her consent…

                                                                              File Photo

A 54-year-old former Qantas flight attendant is currently standing trial for committing two indecent acts during an April 2019 flight from Perth to Melbourne. Long story short, the 54-year-old man (who was the economy cabin supervisor) touched the breasts of a 21-year-old female colleague, and then exposed himself to her.

This whole incident happened while the two flight attendants were on a break in the back of the plane, in an area that had a curtain around it. The man’s side of the story is as follows:
  • While the two were on a break, the 21-year-old flight attendant asked him about some of his experiences during his 23 years as a flight attendant, and she called him “a naughty boy” and asked if he had joined the mile high club, so he thought she was coming onto him
  • The man started talking about how he had hooked up with crew members, and told her a story of how he hooked up with a female colleague with large breasts
  • At that point he asked if he could touch her breasts, so he did that, and as he did so, he asked if her breasts were real, to which she responded that they were
  • The man then said something about his genitals, before asking the woman if she wanted to see — at that point he “quickly undid [his] fly and exposed [his] penis for half a second and put it back in”
  • She left the crew rest area shortly thereafter, and he said she “seemed fine,” and he even later made her a cup of peppermint tea
The woman claims that the man asked her not to tell anyone about what happened, but he denies that
Again, the above is all the senior flight attendant’s version of events, so that’s only one side of the story.
Man claims chemical imbalance & consent

The man is defending himself by making a few claims:
  • He had a chemical imbalance that caused this — “I had a chemical imbalance in my head and I put my hand around her shoulder and touched her left breast”He had her consent, and that she was the one who turned their conversation into an adult one, based on her questions and comments
  • He simply “went along with it,” and “unfortunately it got out of hand”

If found guilty, the man could be facing up to seven years in jail.
  • The man should have known better here on so many levels — he was in a position of power over his colleague (in terms of his role, his age, etc.), he shouldn’t equate someone not actively saying “no” to consent, and he shouldn’t assume that someone is okay with sexual contact just because they were open to talking about something
  • Regardless of whether or not the man had consent, this is an outrageously unprofessional way to be acting during a flight
His defense is all over the place — was this due to a chemical imbalance, or is he sticking to his story that he had consent and he basically just went along with it?

Lastly, while this is by no means in any way a defense of what happened, the reality is that at a lot of airlines there’s a lot of funny business going on during layovers. For the most part this seems to fly under the radar more that it would at other workplaces, especially given that employees have layovers together, there are many cases where there’s consent, etc.

Still, sometimes I’m surprised there aren’t more cases like this where police reports end up being filed. After all, for all the wrong reasons “consent” can be a slippery slope when we’re talking about flight attendants having different ranks, when there’s alcohol involved, etc.

Story sourced from here

Saturday 27 March 2021

KLM / Pan Am incident - 44 Yrs on

KLM B747-406 PH-BFH (CN 24518)                 File Photo

On the 27th March 1977, 44 years ago today, two Boeing 747 passenger jets, KLM Flight 4805 and Pan Am Flight 1736, collided on the runway at Los Rodeos Airport on the Spanish island of Tenerife, killing 583 people, and making it the deadliest accident in aviation history. 61 passengers survived the accident. KLM had 248 POB (234 Pax and 14 crew) Pan Am had 396 POB (380 Pax and 16 crew, 335 Pax died 61 survived). At 12:30pm a bomb explodes in the Las Palmas passenger terminal. Because of warnings of a possible second bomb, the airport was closed. A large number of flights were diverted to Tenerife. Like KLM Flight 4805 from Amsterdam and PanAm Flight 1736 from Los Angeles and New York. Las Palmas Airport re-opened to traffic again at 15:00. Because the PanAm passengers remained on aboard it was possible to leave Tenerife at once. The taxiways were congested by other aircraft however. This meant the PanAm crew had to backtrack on runway 12 for take-off on runway 30. The entrance to runway 12 however, was blocked by the KLM Boeing. The PanAm flight had to wait for almost 2 hours before all KLM passengers had reboarded and refuelling had taken place. The KLM flight was then cleared to backtrack runway 12 and make a 180deg. turn at the end. Three minutes later (at 17:02) Pan Am 1736 was cleared to follow the KLM aircraft and backtrack runway 12. The PanAm crew were told to leave the runway at the third taxiway and report leaving the runway. At 17:05:44 KLM 4805 reported ready for take-off and was given instructions for a Papa beacon departure. The KLM crew repeated the instructions and added "We are now at take-off". The brakes were released and KLM 4805 started the take-off roll. Tenerife tower, knowing that Pan Am 1736 was still taxiing down the runway replied "OK ...... Stand by for take-off, I will call you." This message coincided with the PanAm crew's transmission "No ... uh we're still taxiing down the runway, the Clipper 1736". These communications caused a shrill noise in the KLM cockpit, lasting approx. 3.74 seconds. Tenerife tower replied: "Papa Alpha 1736 report runway clear.", whereupon the Pan Am crew replied: "OK, will report when we're clear". This caused some concerns with the KLM flight engineer asking the captain: "Is he not clear then?" After repeating his question the captain answers emphatically: "Oh, yes". A number of second before impact the KLM crew saw the PanAm Boeing still taxiing down the runway. The crew tried to climb away and became airborne after a 65 feet tail drag in an excessive rotation. The PanAm crew immediately turned the aircraft to the left and applied full power. The KLM aircraft was airborne, but the fuselage skidded over the PanAm's aft fuselage, destroying it and shearing off the tail. The KLM aircraft flew on and crashed out of control 150 m further on, sliding another 300 m bursting into flames.


"The KLM aircraft had taken off without take-off clearance, in the absolute conviction that this clearance had been obtained, which was the result of a misunderstanding between the tower and the KLM aircraft. This misunderstanding had arisen from the mutual use of usual terminology which, however, gave rise to misinterpretation. In combination with a number of other coinciding circumstances, the premature take-off of the KLM aircraft resulted in a collision with the Pan Am aircraft, because the latter was still on the runway since it had missed the correct intersection." KLM Flight 4805 was a charter flight for Holland International Travel Group and had arrived from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Netherlands. Its captain was Jacob Veldhuyzen van Zanten, age 50. At the time of the accident, Veldhuyzen van Zanten was KLM's chief flight instructor, with 11,700 flight hours, of which 1,545 hours were on the 747. The first officer was Klaas Meurs, age 42. At the time of the accident, Meurs had 9,200 flight hours, of which 95 hours were on the 747. Flight engineer was Willem Schreuder, age 48. At the time of the accident, Schreuder had 15,210 flight hours, of which 540 hours were on the 747. The aircraft was a Boeing 747-206B, registration PH-BUF, named Rijn (Rhine). The KLM jet was carrying 14 crew members and 234 passengers, including 52 children. Most of the KLM passengers were Dutch, while also on board were 4 Germans, 2 Austrians and 2 Americans. After the aircraft landed at Tenerife, the passengers were transported to the airport terminal. One of the inbound passengers, who lived on the island with her partner, chose not to re-board the 747, leaving 234 passengers on board.

Pan Am Flight 1736 had originated at Los Angeles International Airport, with an intermediate stop at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The aircraft was a Boeing 747-121, registration N736PA, named Clipper Victor. Of the 380 passengers (mostly of retirement age, but including two children), 14 had boarded in New York, where the crew was also changed. The new crew consisted of captain Victor Grubbs, age 56, first officer Robert Bragg, age 39, flight engineer George Warns, age 46, and 13 flight attendants.
At the time of the accident, captain Grubbs had 21,043 hours of flight time, of which 564 hours were on the 747. First officer Bragg had 10,800 flight hours, of which 2,796 hours were on the 747. Flight engineer Warns had 15,210 flight hours, of which 559 hours were on the 747.

Aircraft 1 Information
Aircraft: Boeing 747-206B
Operator: KLM
Flight Number: 4805
Registration: PH-BUF
Serial Number: 20400
First Flew: 14/9/1971
Age: 6 yrs

Aircraft 2 Information
Aircraft: Boeing 747-121
Operator: Pan Am
Flight Number: 1736
Registration: N736PA
Serial Number: 19643
First Flew: 24/12/1969
Age: 8 yrs

Story sourced from Wikipedia

Thursday 25 March 2021

Virgin Australia scraps free economy catering

  VIRGIN AUSTRALIA FLEET B737-800'S      File Photo

From today Virgin Australia has scrapped free catering for its economy class passengers. Instead, passengers will now be required to pay to fill their stomachs, a move being echoed at airlines across the world. Around the world, airlines have shaken up their offerings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For some, such as British Airways passengers, this has seen a positive change. However, others, such as those flying with the Lufthansa Group, have seen the free snack withdrawn. Virgin Australia is following suit with the Lufthansa Group, also removing its complementary offering on economy class bookings moving forward.

According to a letter to passengers with existing bookings seen by Simple Flying, Virgin Australia will be saying farewell to its complementary offering as of today. The airline revealed that it would continue to offer passengers tea and coffee on flights.

In the case of passengers who have already purchased a fare with a meal, they have been advised to make themselves known to the cabin crew if they still require a snack. The business class catering proposition will not be affected by the changes. According to Australian publication 9News, Virgin Australia is to require affected passengers to purchase refreshments from the airline’s onboard menu. While things aren’t looking great for the airline’s economy catering program, things are better over the business’s lounge side. Last week, the Australian airline revealed that its entire portfolio of lounges has now reopened, with its Canberra lounge reopening in the nation’s capital. 

The airline has been reopening its lounges in response to increasing passenger demand. Indeed, Australia’s domestic flight figures have passed 2020 levels for the first time, almost showing a full recovery thanks to a surge in domestic operations. Lounge guests will be able to enjoy a selection of sandwiches, salads, wraps and healthy snacks, freshly prepared on site, giving frequent flyers a sustained avenue to filling up during travel.

Virgin Australia isn’t the first airline to ax free catering in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, earlier this month, we revealed that Austrian Airlines had unveiled its new paid catering proposition on short-haul flights. One could argue that moving to paid catering is better for passengers depending on the airlines. The complimentary refreshments offered by some airlines have become somewhat substandard in recent years. However, paid catering options are often far better. This is undoubtedly the case with Lufthansa’s new dean&david catering offering, which dramatically improves the airline’s previous free half sandwich offering that was somewhat underwhelming.

Story sourced from here 

Wednesday 24 March 2021

Dangerous SAA Take Off Under Investigation

SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS A330-642 ZS-SNF (MSN 547)   File Photo

A South African Airways flight is under investigation after a miscalculation almost caused a serious incident during take-off. The flight, which took place on February 24th, was heading to Brussels to pick up some COVID-19 vaccinations but almost crashed as it departed. According to reports, automatic safety features were responsible for preventing a catastrophe. The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) officially launched an investigation into the events on February 24th. The pilot and co-pilot of the flight reported the incident as per standard procedures. However, the SACAA said it should have been reported within 72 hours, but in fact, the aviation authority only heard about the incident on March 17th.

What happened?

The incident in question was very nearly a serious disaster. A South African Airways (SAA) Airbus A340-600 was set to head from South Africa to Brussels to collect COVID-19 vaccines. However, it appears the crew seriously miscalculated the plane’s take-off weight by almost 90 tons. The resulting error meant the plane was not traveling fast enough to take off safely. Early reports suggest the Airbus’s safety features kicked in to override this; however, the aircraft is not designed to correct speed for flap retraction. As such, when the crew retracted the flaps, the plane went into what’s known as an alpha floor event. The plane was at risk of stalling during take-off. Luckily for the crew, the Airbus’s safety systems again took over, adding more power and lowering the nose of the plane, thereby preventing it from stalling.

Why is it such a serious incident?

The incident is being called “extraordinarily dangerous” by the SACAA. Although no passengers were onboard and the safety procedures meant no one was harmed or close to being harmed, the SACAA seems more concerned with the serious miscalculation. According to reports, the pilot did not have the correct number of recent flight hours to be operating the flight, which caused a delay before the incident occurred. SAA planes have mostly been grounded due to the pandemic and ongoing financial issues, which have meant few pilots have been flying regularly. Many have criticized the SACAA for allowing the flight to take off at all and have accused the governing body of giving SAA special treatment. The flight was allowed to take off after exemptions were granted. It was a one-off to get vaccines, and so was allowed to go ahead. The SACAA denies favoritism and says it takes each case individually and is investigating the incident now it has been made aware of what happened.

The new allegations of special treatment for SAA come within weeks of fresh allegations from members of the South African parliament. Some MPs claim the government is providing too much funding to save the airline when it should be allowed to collapse. How much finance should be awarded to the airline is contentious, but providing exemptions from safety regulations raises more serious questions about SAA’s legitimacy.

Some searching on flightradar24 showed the the flight number as SAA4272  and the aircraft was ZS-SNG 

Aircraft Information:
Airline: South African Airways
Code: SA / SAA
Aircraft: Airbus A340-642
Registration: ZS-SNG
Serial Number: 0557
First Flew: 16/12/2003
Age: 17.3 Yrs

Tuesday 23 March 2021

Air New Zealand eyes Hobart-Auckland flights

When New Zealand gets on board with a trans-Tasman 'travel bubble', Air NZ will launch direct flights to Tasmania.

AIR NEW ZEALAND B777-219 ZK-OKG (MSN 29403) File Photo

Air New Zealand plans to add Hobart to its map, once "quarantine-free travel" is possible between Australia and trans-Tasman counterpart. Currently, only passengers arriving into Australia on designated 'green' flights from NZ can escape the two-week lock-up, although New Zealand mandates quarantine for all international arrivals: even for those travelling from areas with zero cases of COVID-19. Once those hurdles have been overcome, Air NZ would provide two return flights per week on the route, running on Thursdays and Sundays in each direction.
The schedule aims to provide "the best long weekend options for travellers," says Air NZ CEO Greg Foran. "We know Tasmanians love to visit New Zealand and this non-stop service to Auckland will make it that much easier to get out into our great outdoors and access our winter playgrounds."

The route would be Hobart International Airport's only regularly-scheduled international flight.

Air NZ plans to use its modern Airbus A320neo jets on the route, which fly in an all-economy configuration. However, passengers pining for business class can book 'Works Deluxe' fares, which deliver an experience similar to Euro Business. While sat in an economy-style seat, these guests get a guaranteed vacant seat beside them, as well as complimentary catering, checked baggage, entertainment with movies, and more.

Talk of a trans-Tasman travel bubble has now been circling for almost a year, with several mooted commencement dates having come and gone. But this week, New Zealand's Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson was positive that borders would open soon. "I’m very optimistic we’ll sort that out in reasonably short order. I don’t think we’re too far off," he told Radio New Zealand this week.
But, there are "a few issues still to talk through, including what we do in the event that there is an outbreak, how we manage people who aren’t in their home country at that time."

Prior to COVID-19, Air NZ offered regular and seasonal flights to nine Australian airports.
These included Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and Norfolk Island, with Hobart to be the airline's 10th Australian destination.

The international terminal was opened in 1983 to facilitate Trans-Tasman air traffic. In 1985 the terminal was upgraded, along with the runway, to provide limited 747 operations. There have been no regular international flights serviced by the airport since 1998, when Air New Zealand suspended operations to Christchurch. At present the terminal is used solely by Skytraders for flights to Antarctica and occasional charter airline flights. The terminal's apron has a single wide-body parking bay overlapping two narrow-body bays. This bay is able to accommodate large wide-body aircraft up to and including Boeing 747-400 and 777-200. 

Story sourced from here
Air New Zealand eyes Hobart-Auckland flights - Executive Traveller

Sunday 21 March 2021

Trigana Air Boeing 737- 400 suffers runway excursion on landing

Yesterday a Trigana Air Boeing 737- 400 operating a cargo flight between Jakarta-Halim Perdana Kusuma Airport (HLP/WIHH), Indonesia and Makassar-Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport (UPG/WAAA), Indonesia suffered a runway excursion on landing. Just after departure at Jakarta Airport the pilots suffered a technical issue with the aircraft’s right main landing gear. The decision was made to return to Jakarta. The aircraft landed on the left main gear, nose gear and right engine pod. Shortly after, the aircraft skidded off the runway and came to a stop with all gears collapsed. None of the four crew members was injured.

Following image appeared on social media:

                        PHOTO CREDIT: JACDED VIA TWITTER

To date the airline has a total of 19 serious incidents, 12 of which resulted in hull loss, making it one of the unsafest airlines in the world.

On the 13th September 2016, a Trigana Air Boeing 737-300 freighter (registered PK-YSY MSN 23597) was operating domestic flight TGN 7321 from Sentani Airport, Jayapura to Wamena Airport, Indonesia. During a hard landing on runway 15 at Wamena Airport, the aircraft broke both main gears. The Boeing 737 slid to a stop on the runway, coming to rest partially on the grass. Nobody was hurt.

Another incident was on the 25th February 2020, a Trigana Air Boeing 737-300 (PK-YSG MSN 23930) operated a domestic flight IL 7341 from Jayapura-Sentani Airport to Wamena Airport in Indonesia, but received damage to its undercarriage in a runway excursion upon landing at Jayapura Sentani Airport. The four crew members were able to safely escape. As the runway was blocked, a number of arriving and departing traffic wasn’t able to operate. Airport authorities removed the 737 from the runway.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Trigana Air
Code: IL/TGN
Aircraft: Boeing 737-4YO
Registration: PK-YSF
Serial Number: 23869
Date First Flew: 15/11/1988
Age: 32.3 Yrs
Engines: 2 x CFMI CFM56-3C1

Aircraft History
05/12/1988  HL-7251 Asiana Airlines 
23/12/2003 PK-YTZ Batavia - Ceased operations 31st Jan. 2013 
01/10/2013 PK-YSF  Trigana Air Service

Saturday 20 March 2021

British Airways CEO says its A380s will return

The superjumbo "is in our plans for the future rebuild of the airline", says BA chief Sean Doyle.

British Airways' fleet of 12 Airbus A380s remain grounded, but CEO Sean Doyle says the airline won't join others such as Lufthansa, Air France and Etihad which have scrapped the superjumbo.

"The A380 isn't flying at the minute but it is in our plans for the future rebuild of the airline," Doyle says. "Exactly when we will put the A380 back into service is something that we’re not clear on."

However, that's not expected to be until 2023-2024, when Doyle – in common with the rest of the industry – expects to see demand for air travel return to pre-COVID levels.

"It will take demand two or three years to get back to where it was in 2019... our best guess is 2023-24," Doyle told The Independent.

That recovery will largely be driven by non-business travel, with holidaymakers and people visiting family and friends leading the corporate market.

"There will be a couple of trigger points for business travel to come back," Doyle predicted.

"One is when people get back in the office and two, again when they're able to travel in and start doing a bit of face-to-face again. We are seeing surveys from a lot of corporate customers that are showing a degree of fatigue with homeworking and remote working." "You do business with people, not organizations, and the ability to get face-to-face again will come back and will be part of the way people want to operate in the future."

It's not known if British Airways still intends to refit its A380s with the airline's latest Club Suite business class, which would replace the current decades-old Club World with the newer, more spacious design which includes sliding privacy doors. In the days long before COVID-19 this upgrade was due to take place across 2023-2025 as the final phase of a multi-billion dollar program.

BA's flagship A380 routes previously included Singapore, Hong Kong, Johannesburg and several North American destinations such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Washington and Vancouver.

Friday 19 March 2021

Air Nauru flight lights up the sky over Brisbane

AIR NAURU B737-36N VH-PNI (MSN 28555)

This story happened here in our very own back yard. It was around 6.30 pm tonight we heard some continuous banging noises like fire works going off. We went outside to the side of the house to where the noise was coming from but once outside the noise seemed to be coming from a different area. We didn't think much of it and went back inside. It was only a few hours later I discovered an Air Nauru Airlines (flight ON1), a Boeing 737-300, travelling from Nauru International Airport (INU/ANYN) to Brisbane International Airport, (BNE/YBBN) suffered a compressor stall on one of the two engines while on approach to Brisbane Airport. Apparently flames were visible during the event. The banging noise we heard would have been the aircraft as they fly around our home on their way into Brisbane.  


The 48 passengers on board the Nauru Airlines flight walked off the plane unharmed after it landed safely. Footage taken from inside the plane through a cabin window showed the fireballs coming out of the engine and witness reports state the aircraft made loud banging noises.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Air Nauru
Code: ON / RON
Aircraft: Boeing 737-36N
Registration: VH-PNI
Serial Number: 28555
First Flew: 19/01/1997
Age: 24.2 Yrs

Aircraft History
27/01/1997  9M-AAB Air Asia - leased to GECAS (G E Capital Aviation Services)
01/06/2003  PK-GGY  Garuda - ret to GECAS 05/2004 as N285MM 
01/07/2004  B-2610  Shenzhen Airlines 
10/04/2005  B-2687 Shenzhen Airlines Stored 10/2011 as N325MS (GECAS) 
15/09/2013  VH-PNI  Our Airline 
01/08/2014  VH-PNI  Nauru Airlines

Qantas announce 5 new routes

Here’s some good news for ski-lovers.

Qantas is making Australia’s snowfields more accessible this winter, launching three new flight routes to Cooma and Albury, the gateways to New South Wales’ and Victoria’s ski resorts from 1st July until the 26th September.

From Cooma, customers can access the popular resorts of Perisher Valley, Thredbo, and Charlotte Pass in New South Wales.

From Albury, customers can access Falls Creek and Hotham resorts in Victoria.

Flights from Sydney to Cooma are timed to allow travellers to depart after work on a Thursday or Friday and return Sunday evening, meaning a long weekend of skiing without losing time to driving. The flights from Brisbane will offer Queenslanders the only direct airline connection to the snowfields this season.

“We’re expecting these flights will be popular with skiers and snowboarders who might not have been able to hit the slopes through COVID last season in Australia or overseas,” says QantasLink CEO, John Gissing.

“Our new direct flights to Cooma and Albury will mean ski enthusiasts can spend less time on the road and more time on the mountain.”

All flights will be operated by QantasLink’s turboprop Q400 aircraft.
Sydney  to  Cooma – flights will operate three days per week.
Brisbane to Cooma – flights will operate two days per week
Brisbane to Albury – flights will operate two days per week


Qantas will also operate regular flights from both Sydney and Brisbane to Norfolk Island over the coming months, giving travellers the chance to fly ‘overseas’, yet without the burden of border restrictions or hotel quarantine. From the 19th March 2021, the airline will run three flights per week from Sydney as well as three flights each week from Brisbane, “initially” for a three-month period: hinting there could be an extension.

Norfolk Island is an external territory of Australia, around 2-2.5 hours east of the mainland.

That puts these flights outside the purview of Australia’s international ‘travel ban’ – although the services will depart from (and arrive back into) the international terminals at Sydney and Brisbane. Even so, passports are not required, with an Australian driver’s licence or proof of age card sufficient ID: although passports are “preferred” by the Australian Government, to help expedite passenger processing at each end.

As Norfolk Island has not been declared a 'hotspot' by New South Wales or Queensland, there are no restrictions on entering these states from Norfolk Island, and thus, no compulsory quarantine.
With one-way fares in economy starting at $412 from Sydney or $390 from Brisbane, flights are now on sale as below:

Sydney to Norfolk Island
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
2hrs 40min

Norfolk Island to Sydney
Monday, Wednesday, Saturday
2hrs 50min

Brisbane to Norfolk Island
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
2hrs 15min

Norfolk Island to Brisbane
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
2hrs 25min

These routes will all be served by Qantas’ Boeing 737 jets, offering both business class and economy.

QANTAS B737-838 VH-VZM (MSN 34192)

Tuesday 16 March 2021

Etihad doubts Airbus A380's will return

ETIHAD A380-861 A6-APC (MSN 176)       File Photo

Tony Douglas, CEO of the Etihad Group, has cast doubt over whether the Airbus A380 will ever return to the skies for the Abu Dhabi-based carrier. The airline’s fleet has spent the past year grounded due to the pandemic. Thanks to the Dubai-based airline Emirates, the giant Airbus A380 remains a common sight in the skies above the UAE. With Emirates set to receive five new A380s, it isn’t going anywhere soon. However, the variety could soon drop if Etihad decides not to resume A380 flights. With every day that passes, the chances of the golden A380s returning look slimmer.

EMIRATES A380-861 A6-EDN (MSN 056)    File Photo

So what’s the latest on the Airbus A380?

It seems as though the Airbus A380’s remaining days in Etihad’s gold livery are numbered. According to local UAE publication The National, Etihad’s CEO, Tony Douglas said, “We have now taken the strategic decision to park the A380s, I’m sure it’s very likely that we won’t see them operating with Etihad again.”

Etihad has a fleet of ten Airbus A380s. However, since the fleet was grounded, two-fifths have been relocated to Tarbes in France for long-term storage. While many planes are stored at the Tarmac Aerospace site, the company does have the facilities to scrap A380s. There is, however, no indication that any A380s from the airline are yet to be discarded. Douglas’s comments shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. We already knew that there was a fair chance the aircraft may not return following a previous podcast episode released by the airline. Etihad would not be alone if it didn’t reactivate the A380. While Air France remains the only airline to have scrapped its entire fleet, some other carriers look to be following. 

AIR FRANCE A380-861 F-HPJE (MSN 052)     File Photo

It looks increasingly unlikely that any of Lufthansa’s A380s will return. Even some of those that are retaining the aircraft have decreased their fleets. Singapore Airlines has been reasonably clear that it intends to resume flights with the Airbus A380. However, only a dozen aircraft will return, with the airline announcing last year that it will scrap the remainder.

SINGAPORE A380-841 9V-SKT (MSN 092)   File Photo

Released at the wrong time

Fundamentally, the Airbus A380 seems to have been released at the wrong time. Today, the emphasis with fleets is on cleaner twin jets. Indeed, Air France had already announced the fleet’s impending retirement before the COVID-19 crisis came about. The pandemic simply sped the airline’s process along.

Story Sourced from here
Etihad's CEO Casts Doubts On Airbus A380s Return - Simple Flying

Sunday 14 March 2021

China Southern suspending flights to 17 countries

CHINA SOUTHERN A380-841 B-6137 (MSN 036)

China Southern Airlines released this statement yesterday



Saturday 13 March 2021

Cathay to retire 34 aircraft prematurely after posting $2.8BN annual loss

                                                                        File Photo

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific has announced it will retire 34 of its aircraft early, as nearly half of its fleet now sits in long-term storage in Australia and Spain. In its 2020 full-year financial results, Cathay group chairman Patrick Healy stated that the airline how has 92 of its aircraft – around 46 per cent of its fleet – in long-term storage facilities in Alice Springs, Australia, and Ciudad Real, Spain. The figure is up from the airline’s previous announcement in September 2020, that it had moved 40 per cent of its fleet into long-term overseas storage for the “foreseeable future”, in order for Cathay “to survive and thrive” in the near term. While Cathay did not specify which aircraft it intends to prematurely retire, it did note that they were all “unlikely to re-enter meaningful economic service again before they retire or are returned to lessors”, which likely suggests the planes could be Airbus A330s or Boeing 777s, which are among the oldest aircraft in the airline’s fleet. The group, which saw a record $2.8 billion full-year loss, also restated an earlier announcement of aircraft delivery deferrals. Deliveries for Airbus A350-900 and -1000 aircraft have been pushed back by up to two years, from 2020-2021 to 2020-2023. Similarly, deliveries for A321neos — some of which were originally meant for now-shuttered regional wing Cathay Dragon — were delayed from 2020-2023 to 2020-2025. Cathay stated that “advanced negotiations” are still ongoing with Boeing for the deferral of the 777-9 widebody, of which it has 21 on order. The group had previously confirmed that the deliveries would be delayed beyond 2025 and said it was still committed to the type. The group, which also comprises low-cost unit HK Express and cargo subsidiary Air Hong Kong, ended the year with 239 aircraft in its fleet, an increase of three aircraft from what it started the year with. Passenger revenues continue to sit at just 2-3 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. Analysts have previously warned that airlines like Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines will take far longer to recover from the crisis than most, as they have no domestic network to rely upon until international conditions improve.

                                                                      File Photo

                                                                       File Photo

                                                                         File Photo

                                                                         File Photo

Story sourced from here

Friday 12 March 2021

Qantas is bringing back the 'mystery flight'

QANTAS A380-842 VH-OQI (MSN 055)                      File Photo

Many Australians will fondly remember the old Qantas and Ansett 'mystery flights' where you'd book a flat-rate ticket to some unknown destination, either as a day trip or in some cases an overnight stay.
you wouldn't know where you were going until you turned up at the airport and collected your ticket.

The airlines axed those flights in the 1990s, but now they're coming back as a trio of special one-day domestic adventures which could be the perfect salve for cabin fever while international borders remain closed.

Each Qantas Mystery Flight will depart from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne to an interstate destination approximately two hours' away – a measure which the airline tells us is also intended "to combat the border blues". (In the event of border closures, arrangements will be made for an alternative destination within each state.)

"The vaccine rollout is bringing a lot more certainty and domestic border restrictions should soon be a thing of the past," says Qantas Group Chief Customer Officer, Stephanie Tully.

"As well as helping bring more of our people back to work, these mystery flights are another way to support tourism operators in regional areas especially, who have been hit particularly hard by several waves of travel restrictions."

But it's not just about the flight itself: the new Qantas Mystery Flight package includes on-the-ground experiences which the airline hints could include anything from a winemaking course in a premier Australian wine region, to a gourmet lunch with musical entertainment on the shores of one of Australia’s tropical island wonders.

So you'll be prepared for what's in store, passengers will be given clues to ensure the outing aligns with their areas of interest and also as an aid to packing (should you bring sneakers or a snorkel, for instance).

En route, the flight will include some low-level scenic flybys of key landmarks (subject to weather conditions and air traffic control).

So what are the details?
  • The Qantas Mystery Flight from Brisbane runs on Saturday March 27th and the airline promises it'll be the perfect getaway if you love country hospitality, gourmet food and wine, and the great outdoors.
  • The Qantas Mystery Flight from Sydney is on Sunday April 18th and passengers can expect to wind down in a tropical setting with long lunching on the beach.
  • The Qantas Mystery Flight from Melbourne takes place on Saturday May 1st and involves the great outdoors (including a little walking), gourmet food and wine and regional farmers markets.

Tickets on each Qantas Mystery Flight will cost $737 in economy (you'll also earn 2,400 Qantas Points and 40 status credits) and $1,579 in business class (pocketing 5,000 Qantas Points and 80 status credits), with lounge access for those in business class or holding suitable frequent flyer status.

Tickets for all three Qantas Mystery Flights went on sale on at 12 noon (EST) on Thursday the 4th March and sold out within minutes.

Story sourced from here

Monday 8 March 2021

Malaysia 370 - 7 Years on


Today marks the 7th anniversary of the disappearance of the Malaysian 777 and even though bits and pieces believed to be from the stricken 370 have been found, the actual aircraft is still missing.. but news released a few days ago show they may be getting closer to finding MH370. A new drift analysis conducted by one of the leading experts in the search for MH370 has found credible new evidence of the final resting place of the Boeing 777 and its 239 passengers and crew.
The new area – 1,960 km – due west of Cape Leeuwin, Western Australia is in a location that has been partially searched before but is in very difficult terrain with the sea bed up to 5000m deep with high mountains, deep ravines and even volcanoes. The drift analysis comes hard on the heels of an updated flight path analysis and both overlap building a compelling case to re-start the search. The Malaysian Government and US undersea search specialists Ocean Infinity (OI) have previously stated that credible new evidence is required to re-start the search.
Flight MH 370 was a scheduled international passenger flight that disappeared on the 8th March 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL/WMKK), Malaysia to Beijing-Capital International Airport (PEK/ZBAA) China. Flight 370 last made voice contact with air traffic control at 01:19 local time when it was over the South China Sea, less than an hour after take off. The aircraft disappeared from air traffic controllers' radar screens at 01:21 local time. Malaysian military radar continued to track Flight 370 as it deviated from its planned flight path and crossed the Malay Peninsula. Flight 370 left the range of Malaysian military radar at 02:22 while over the Andaman Sea, 200 nautical miles (370 km; 230 miles) northwest of Penangin in north western Malaysia. The aircraft was carrying 12 Malaysian crew members and 227 passengers from 15 nations; six of those were Australians. Investigators thought the most likely location for the jet was in the Indian Ocean after analysing information from the British satellite telecommunications company Immarsat. Likely locations for the airliner could be tracked by knowing the distance from the fixed satellite, but it would also change depending which direction the plane was flying in after its last known position and at what speed it was travelling at. If it was flying north then possible locations could stretch as far as the border between Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to Thailand. But if it was flying south possible sites could range from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean. Authorities believe the Indian Ocean is the most likely site After 7 years of extensive searches and many possible sighting of floating objects, Investigators have found no trace of the Malaysia Airlines 777 or it's 239 passengers.
Initially search efforts focused on the South China Sea area. On 24 March 2014 further analysis of the Inmarsat satellite data indicated that MH370 flew south and ended its flight in the southern part of the Indian Ocean. A surface search was conducted of probable impact areas along an arc, identified by calculations based on Inmarsat data. The search was carried out from 18 March - 28 April 2014. This search effort was undertaken by an international fleet of aircraft and ships with the search areas over this time progressing generally from an initial southwest location along the arc in a north-easterly direction. No debris associated with MH370 was identified either from the surface search, acoustic search or from the ocean floor search in the vicinity of acoustic detection, which were initially believed to have been from the pingers on the flight recorders. The ocean floor search was completed on 28 May 2014.
On June 26 the ATSB published a new search area based on refinements to the analysis of both the flight and satellite data. The priority area of approximately 60,000 km2 extends along the arc for 650 km in a northeast direction from Broken Ridge, an underwater ridge. The width of the priority search area is 93 km.
On July 29, 2015 a flapperon washed ashore on the French island of RĂ©union in the Indian Ocean. On August 5 it was established to have been from MH370.

Flight 370 was operated by a nearly 12 year old Boeing 777-2H6ER, registration 9M-MRO (MSN 28420). This was the 404th Boeing 777 produced, it first flew on 14th May 2002 and was delivered to Malaysia Airlines on 31st May 2002. For the sake of the loved ones left behind and for the staff at Malaysia Airlines I hope they find the aircraft soon.