Sunday 31 October 2021

A380s to once again fly over Australia

Fans of Qantas’ A380 will soon see the aircraft return to the skies.

On October 22nd, QANTAS, the Australian flag carrier, announced that its flagship Airbus A380s will return to service sooner than previously expected, with the first superjumbos expected to return to regular passenger flights by April 2022.

The airline’s 12 A380s have been ‘parked’ at the Southern California Logistics Airport (VCV) in the Mojave Desert since June 2020.

Qantas originally expected the superjumbo aircraft to remain in storage until the end of 2023.

In August 2021, the airline announced that, from July 2022, five of the A380s would return with upgraded cabins to operate its Los Angeles and London flights.

Qantas has now accelerated the return of its A380s, bringing the date forward by three months, with two A380s to commence flights to Los Angeles from April 2022.

One aircraft could arrive by the end of this year to assist with crew training ahead of its return to service. Three A380s will return to service from mid-November 2022, with the remaining five expected to return by early 2024.

Qantas stated that it is also looking to bring forward delivery of three brand new 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, currently in storage with Boeing, several months earlier than planned as demand increases.

“Our customers and crew love flying on our flagship A380s, so news that they will be back flying to Los Angeles again from April next year will be very welcome. The Federal Government’s support to ensure our aircraft and people are ready to resume once borders reopen has been critical,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce in the statement.

The initial international flights are limited to Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families and parents in line with Federal Government requirements.

Emirates, the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has also announced that it will ramp up flights to Australia after the country reopens its borders for international travel. Most prominently, the airline’s flagship will fly once again on the Dubai (DXB)-Sydney (SYD) route starting from December 1. The Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft, will take over the service from a Boeing 777-300ER and conduct daily flights, carrying up to 516 passengers between the cities. Additionally, Emirates is going to conduct bi-weekly service between Dubai (DXB) and Melbourne (MEL), and allow its aircraft to be filled to full capacity. Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Emirates conducted regular passenger flights to Sydney (SYD), Melbourne (MEL), Brisbane (BNE) and Perth (PER), and a freighter service to Sydney.

All the destinations were served by the A380, and an additional flight between Sydney and New Zealand’s Christchurch (CHC) was conducted by Emirates.

The company stopped all A380 flights in March 2020, before slowly resuming operations in July 2020. It has been one of the few A380 operators to remain optimistic about superjumbo’s future, promising to restore 70% of the aircraft’s service by the end of 2021.

The number of Airbus A380 operators will increase by 66% in November, with two more carriers set to return the giant aircraft to the skies. British Airways and Singapore Airlines will initially launch short-haul flights with the giant for crew training purposes before switching to long-haul

The first of the two airlines to bring back the Airbus A380 will be Singapore Airlines. The Singapore flag carrier recently scrapped two retired A380s but will get half of its original fleet back in service over time. From Thursday, November 4th, Singapore Airlines will operate a daily rotation between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur according to schedule data from aviation experts Cirium.

The second is British Airways who will resume flights with the A380 the week after Singapore Airlines. The British Flag carrier is set to fly the giant of the skies from Monday, November 8th. The airline isn’t so set on jumping right back into long-haul. Instead, the airline will operate a daily Airbus A380 rotation from London Heathrow to Frankfurt and London Heathrow to Madrid.

Saturday 30 October 2021

Flight diverted after fight attendant assaulted

An American Airlines flight between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK/KJFK) and Orange County’s Santa Ana Airport (SNA/KSNA) had to be diverted following a passenger assaulting a female flight attendant. This incident is the last to make the news among many unruly passenger cases in 2021. On Wednesday, American Airlines operated a flight, number AA976 between New York and Orange County, in California. The airline used an Airbus A321 transcon, registration N103NN, with a capacity for 102 passengers distributed in four classes. The aircraft got airborne from runway 4L JFK at 16.57 and landed on runway 35L in Denver 3 hours 40 minutes later.

While in-flight, a male passenger “physically assaulted” a female flight attendant casing serious injury, said American Airlines in a statement. Due to this incident, the crew decided to divert and landed at Denver International Airport (DEN/KDEN).

American Airlines stated,

“The aircraft landed safely and taxied to the gate, where law enforcement removed and apprehended the passenger.”

Following the incident, American Airlines barred the passenger from flying ever again with the company. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are investigating the incident.

The airline added,

“The individual involved in this incident will never be allowed to travel with American Airlines in the future, but we will not be satisfied until he has been prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

The unruly passengers increase

In 2021, the FAA has had an increase in incidents involving unruly passengers all across the United States. These people have disrupted flights with threatening or violent behavior.

Up to October 26, 2021, there have been 4,941 unruly passenger reports in the US. According to the FAA, 3,580 incidents were related to the use of face masks onboard flights. The Administration has launched 923 investigations and initiated 216 enforcement cases.

The minimum fine for assaulting a crew member or a fellow passenger is around US$30,000, said the FAA.

Moreover, the FAA has launched a Zero Tolerance for Unruly and Dangerous Behavior Toolkit. FAA’s Administrator Steve Dickson signed an order directing a stricter legal enforcement policy against unruly airline passengers on January 13, 2021.

The FAA stated,

“Historically, the agency has addressed unruly-passenger incidents using a variety of methods ranging from warnings and counseling to civil penalties. Under the new zero-tolerance policy, FAA will not address these cases with warnings or counseling. The agency will pursue legal enforcement action against any passenger who assaults, threatens, intimidates, or interferes with airline crew members.”

Aircraft Information:
Airline: American Airlines
Code: AA/AAL
Aircraft: Airbus A321-231
Registration: N103NN
Serial Number: 5884
First Flew: December 2013

Story sourced from here with additions.
American Airlines Flight Diverted After Flight Attendant Assaulted - Simple Flying

Friday 29 October 2021

It’s official: Australia’s international travel ban ends on Nov 1

After almost 20 months, Australians will be free to leave the country without obtaining special government approval.

Dust off your passport, because Australia's international travel ban is now a thing of the past – at least for the fully-vaccinated. Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that the ban – which has been in place since March 2020 – will officially end on Monday 1st November.

"I can announce that the Health Minister has signed off on the fact that, from November 1, Australians who are double vaccinated will be able to travel overseas," he said.

For the past 19 months, any Australians wanting to travel overseas had to apply for a special government exemption issued by the Department of Home Affairs. Home Affairs has now updated its website to reflect the new state of post-pandemic travel, saying "the government has announced that Australian citizens or permanent residents aged 12 and over who have received two doses of a recognised vaccine will be able to travel without needing an exemption."

"Children under 12 and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons will also be able to travel overseas without an exemption."

November 1 also sees New South Wales and Victoria remove the need for inbound travellers to enter hotel or home quarantine, provided they have been fully-vaccinated using a jab approved by Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Tasmania will do likewise from December 15, with South Australia set to follow suite when that state reaches 90% vaccination, which is expected to happen in early January 2022.

However, at least one step still remains: at the time of writing, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade still hasn't revised the travel warnings published on its Smarttraveller website, which has flagged most of the world as 'Level 4 – do not travel', which can make it impossible for people to get travel insurance and Covid cover.

"We will be allowing Australians, permanent residents and citizens and their families, to leave Australia from wherever they live in Australia and return," Morrison confirmed on Friday.

It's been a long 586 days since the Department of Home Affairs made it necessary for Australian citizens and permanent residents to receive a special exemption from the blanket ban on international travel.

Government data indicates that around 210,000 Australians were granted approval to fly overseas over the past 19 months, while over 122,000 applications were rejected.

That all changes from November 1, with Sydney Airport becoming the country's first and for now only quarantine-free gateway for all double-jabbed travellers.

The decision has seen Qantas and international airlines relaunching overseas flights to and from Sydney, or opening up existing flights to a full load of bookings rather than capping the number of seats.

With the travel ban lifted, any Australian – regardless of where in the country they live – will be able to travel overseas from November 1, including catching a domestic flight to Sydney and connecting with an overseas flight.

However, after returning to Sydney, interstate travellers will still be subject to restrictions and quarantine arrangements of their home state if they intend to head back there.

November 1 will also see NSW remove its caps for overseas arrivals, although inbound travel will be restricted to Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families and parents.

If fully-vaccinated with a shot approved by Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration, they won't need to quarantine on arrival in Sydney.

However, 14 days of hotel quarantine will still be mandatory arrivals who are not fully vaccinated by a TGA-approved jab, with those quarantine spaces capped at 210 people per week.

Full story sourced from here

Thursday 28 October 2021

Man cleared of tresspass for living in O’Hare Airport for 3 months

A man who lived in Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport for three months has been cleared of trespassing charges. The man, Aditya Singh, remained airside after skipping a flight, allegedly due to fear of COVID, and relied on travelers to purchase food and essentials. 

According to The Chicago Tribune, a judge has found a man living in Chicago O’Hare Airport for three months not guilty of trespassing. The court found that Aditya Singh, 37, did not breach restricted airport areas without permission and, therefore, will not face punishment for felony criminal trespassing.

After coming to the United States nearly six years ago to complete a master’s degree program, Singh boarded a Chicago-bound flight from Los Angeles on Oct. 19, 2020, to begin his journey home to India. He never made it.

Prosecutors said Singh told authorities that the coronavirus pandemic left him too afraid to fly and so he instead remained in the airport, often relying on the kindness of strangers to buy him food.

Singh hid out in the airport’s secured terminal area with access to shops, food and public bathrooms until his Jan. 16 arrest after two United Airlines employees asked to see his identification. He showed them an airport ID badge that an operations manager had reported missing in late October 2020, prosecutors said. The news came after a TSA investigation came to a familiar finding about Singh’s extended stay at the airport. 

A TSA spokesperson said,
“Mr. Singh did not breach or improperly enter secured areas — he arrived there like tens of thousands of arriving passengers do every day, by stepping off a plane. While we won’t speculate on Mr. Singh’s motivations, he decided to remain in the secure area and made every effort to blend in as a passenger and airline employee until his arrest.”

However, Singh is not out of the woods just yet. On Friday, he will come before the court again over an escape charge related to electronic monitoring while he was out on bond earlier this year after his arrest. If this case is also dismissed, Singh might finally be able to take his 12 month-delayed flight back to India. 

Wednesday 27 October 2021

Qantas makes emergency landing over fuel concerns

QANTAS B737-838 VH-VZT (MSN 34186)

A Qantas flight travelling from Perth to Adelaide was forced to make an emergency landing at a regional airport on Monday night because of an issue with the plane’s fuel.

Flight QF888, travelling from Perth Western Australia (PER/YPPH) to Adelaide South Australia (ADL/YPAD), diverted to Kalgoorlie Western Australia (KGI/YPKG) just under two hours after the Boeing 737 departed Perth, after the pilots were alerted to a potential issue with the aircraft’s fuel system.

The aircraft departed from Perth's runway 21 at 5.11pm local time and landed in Kalgoorlie 1 hour 40 minutes later on runway 29 at 6.51pm local time. 

“The Captain followed procedure to divert to the nearest airport where the aircraft landed without incident. Engineers are inspecting the aircraft,” a Qantas spokesman said.

Passengers were flown back to Perth on a replacement aircraft and provided overnight accommodation.

They travelled to Adelaide yesterday.

“We apologise for the disruption to Monday night’s flight. Safety is always our top priority,” a Qantas spokesman said.

Checking Flightradar24 this morning the crippled aircraft is still on the ground in Kalgoorlie.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Qantas
Code: QF/QFA
Aircraft: Boeing 737-838
Registration: VH-VZT
Serial Number: 34186
First Flew: October 2011

Tuesday 26 October 2021

The World's Top 100 Airlines for 2021

The World's Top 100 Airlines for 2021 as voted by airline customers around the world sees Qatar Airways ranked No 1, with Singapore Airlines in 2nd and ANA All Nippon Airways in 3rd position. Two big movers were Japan Air up 6 places from 11th to 5th spot and Air France up 13 places from 23rd to 10th spot.

The 2021 Awards are based on a much extended customer survey period from September 2019 to July 2021, representing a mix of normal travel times combined with travel during the global pandemic.


TOP 20 
2021     Airline                                2019                   
1 Qatar Airways                                 1    
2 Singapore Airlines                           2    
3 ANA All Nippon Airways                  3    
4 Emirates                                          5    
5 Japan Airlines                                 11    
6 Cathay Pacific Airways                    4
7 E V A Air                                          6
8 Qantas Airways                               8
9 Hainan Airlines                                7
10 Air France                                     23
11 British Airways                             19
12 China Southern Airlines               14
13 Lufthansa                                      9
14 Aeroflot                                        22
15 Garuda Indonesia                       12
16 KLM Royal Dutch Airlines           18
17 Turkish Airlines                            35
18 Swiss International Air Lines       13
19 Bangkok Airways                         17
20 Air New Zealand                          16

AirAsia is named the World's Best Low-Cost Airline with Scoot named the World's Best Long Haul Low-Cost Airline in 2021 Awards

World’s Best Low-Cost Airlines 2021

1 AirAsia
2 Southwest Airlines
3 Scoot
4 Vueling Airlines
5 IndiGo
6 EasyJet
7 Jetstar Airways
8 Ryanair
9 Jetstar Asia
10 Flynas

The Best Airlines in Africa 2021
Ethiopian Airlines

The Best Airlines in Asia 2021
Singapore Airlines

The Best Airlines in Australia/Pacific 2021
Qantas Airways

The Best Airlines in China 2021
Hainan Airlines

The Best Airlines in Europe 2021
Air France

The Best Airlines in the Middle East 2021
Qatar Airways

The Best Airlines in Central Asia
Air Astana

The Best Airlines in India / Southern Asia

The Best Airlines in North America 2021
Delta Air Lines

The Best Airlines in South America 2021

The Best Airlines in C America / Caribbean 2021
Copa Airlines

The Best Airlines in Western Europe 2021
Air France

The Best Airlines in Eastern Europe 2021
Aeroflot Russian Airlines

The Best Airlines in Northern Europe 2021

The Best Airlines in Southern Europe 2021
Turkish Airlines

All the information above was sourced from here

Monday 25 October 2021

Happy Birthday Emirates

Emirates logo.svg

AIRBUS A380-861 A6-EDN (CN 056)

The Emirates story starts back in 1985 when they launched operations with just two aircraft, an Airbus A300 B4 and a Boeing 737. The aircraft arrived in Dubai on the 20th October the previous year on a wet lease from Pakistan International Airlines. The Royal Family's Dubai Royal Air Wing also provided the airline with two used Boeing 727–200 Adv as a gift.
The airline was founded on the 25th March 1985 but commenced operations later that year on the 25th October 1985. On that day back in 1985 flight EK600 departed Dubai International for Karachi.
Emirates is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The airline is a subsidiary of The Emirates Group, which is wholly owned by the government of Dubai's Investment Corporation of Dubai. It is the largest airline in the Middle East, operating over 3,600 flights per week from its hub at Dubai International Airport. Before Covid Emirates flew to more than 154 cities in 81 countries across six continents.
Emirates is the world’s fourth largest airline by scheduled revenue passenger-kilometers flown, the fourth-largest in terms of international passengers carried, and the second-largest in terms of freight tonne kilometers flown.

AIRBUS A380-861 A6-EEL (CN 133)

In September 2021 Emirates was named the 4th World’s Best Airline at Skytrax World Airline Awards. In April 2019 Emirates continued its winning streak when it took top honours by sweeping five awards at the Business Traveller Middle East Awards 2019. The airline took home the highly regarded industry accolades for Airline with the Best First Class, Airline with the Best Economy Class, Airline with the Best Frequent Flyer Program and Best Airport Lounge in the Middle East. Recognised for its operational excellence and exceptional products and services – the world’s largest international airline also took home the coveted award of Best Airline Worldwide.
On the 1st March 2016  Emirates launched what was then the worlds longest non-stop commercial flight from Dubai to Auckland using a 777.

BOEING 777-F1H A6-EFM (CN 42231)     CARGO

AIRBUS A38-861 A6-EDO (CN 057)

As of today Emirates fly the world’s biggest fleet of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s with their current fleet being
  • Airbus A319-100 x 1
  • Airbus A380-800 x 121 (51 active - 69 parked - 1 scrapped)
  • Boeing 777-200 x 10
  • Boeing 777-300 x 123
  • Boeing 777 Freighter x 10
Giving Emirates a total of 265 aircraft; below are a some of the different liveries we have seen on their aircraft.

BOEING 777-31H A6-ECF (CN 35574)






Sunday 24 October 2021

Airlines ramp up as restrictions are lifted.

Qantas will restart international flights from Melbourne to London and Singapore in November, in line with Victoria abandoning quarantine for all fully-vaccinated travellers from the 1st November. The airline says there'll initially be two return Boeing 787 flights a week between Melbourne and London starting on the 6th November (six weeks earlier than previously planned), ramping up to daily from the 18th December. In anticipation of the launch of quarantine-free travel between Australia and Singapore, Melbourne-Singapore flights will now take off from the 22nd November, with three Airbus A330 runs per week, stepping up to daily from the 18th December. 
Flights from Melbourne to Los Angeles will restart as planned from the 19th December.

Qantas also intends to begin flights between Sydney and Delhi from the 6th December 2021 as the airline revs up its return to international skies. The route will begin at three flights per week, "building to daily flights by end of the year." Qantas says it plans to run the flights "until at least late March 2022, with a view to continuing if there is sufficient demand."

Although flights from Sydney to Delhi will run via Darwin, the flights from Delhi to Sydney would be nonstop.
QF67 will depart Sydney at 6.05am to reach Darwin at 9.05am; after a 90 minute stopover, it's onwards to Delhi for a 3.35pm touchdown.

QF68 return leg leaves Delhi at 6pm and heads straight to Sydney to land at 11.45am the following day.

Jetstar will also recommence flying four times a week between Melbourne and Singapore on its own Boeing 787, a route it hasn't flown since 2019.

Singapore Airlines has now opened all seats for sale on its twice-daily flights between Singapore and Melbourne from the 1st of November, in line with the Victorian government's removal of quarantine and arrivals caps for fully-vaccinated travellers. The Star Alliance member, which has kept flying to and from Melbourne despite the limited number of passengers – instead focusing on cargo and 'essential travel' – welcomed the announcement as "another welcome step on the road to recovery," in the words of Regional Vice President Louis Arul. Seats on the daily SQ218 and SQ228 flights from Singapore – and their SQ217 and SQ237 return legs – were available from the Singapore Airlines website and through travel agents from 8pm Friday October 22nd. Together with Singapore Airline's Sydney flights, the Star Alliance member now lists 31 flights a week to Australia's two major gateways.

Qatar Airways will resume daily flights to both Sydney and Melbourne from the 1st December, making it easier for Australians to plan that long-awaited international trip, as well as helping bring home more Australians who remain overseas. While the Qantas partner and Oneworld member has been running a pared-back schedule throughout the pandemic, it's among the airlines which has continued connecting Australia with the rest of the world. That includes flights to Brisbane, which the airline hopes to continue across 2022 and beyond.

Cathay Pacific also has joined the growing list of airlines returning to Sydney and Melbourne from the 1st November. The Oneworld member will make all seats on its Hong Kong-Sydney and Hong Hong Kong-Melbourne flights available for travellers beginning their journey in Hong Kong or connecting from other parts of the world, subject to transit requirements, and provided they are "fully-vaccinated Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family."

Cathay Pacific has confirmed the following restart schedule effective Monday the 1st November 2021:

Hong Kong-Sydney.
CX101 departs every day at 11.55pm to reach Sydney at noon the following day.
CX139 departs Tuesday, Friday and Sunday at 8.45am, arriving into Sydney at 8.50pm.

Sydney-Hong Kong.
CX100 departs 3.45pm each day, reaching Hong Kong at 9.55pm.
CX138 departs Tuesday, Friday and Sunday at 10.20pm, arriving into Hong Kong at 5am the next day.

Hong Kong-Melbourne.
CX105 departs every day at 12.25am to reach Melbourne at 12.25pm the following day.
CX163 departs Tuesday and Thursday at 11am, arriving into Melbourne at 11pm.

Melbourne-Hong Kong.
CX104 departs 3.40pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, reaching Hong Kong at 9.45pm.
CX178 departs Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 1am, arriving into Hong Kong at 6.55am the next day.

Fiji Airways says the Pacific nation is said to be on track "to have the entire working population fully vaccinated by November," with its borders slated to reopen its borders "before Christmas" and the airline resuming flights to Australia at that time.

The airline's network connects Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to the tourism gateway of Nadi, on the western side of the main island of Viti Levu; its revised restart schedule is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. The websites of Fiji Airways is now showing flights between Nadi and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane all resuming from the 1st December.

Under Australian government regulations, bookings are only available to fully-vaccinated Australian citizens, permanent residents and 'eligible non-citizens' – with the flights tagged as being "For Eligible Passengers Only" (FEPO).

Here's the checklist supplied by Airlines, which advises that "eligibility to travel on these services is determined by the Australian Government and must at least meet the following criteria:"
  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or a non-Australian citizen or permanent resident holding a valid visa and a travel restriction exemption.
  • have been fully-vaccinated with a TGA approved or recognised vaccine, and
  • have a vaccine certificate that meets the Australian Government’s authenticity and verification requirement

Saturday 23 October 2021

Tornado impacts Brisbane Airport

A tornado hit Brisbane Airport on Friday morning as a supercell storm event moved across the area, bringing intense rain and strong winds, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has confirmed.  The BOM said the storm moved very slowly eastwards but cancelled the warning when the system passed into Moreton Bay. The BOM took about an hour to investigate, eventually confirming "a tornado occurred during a supercell thunderstorm near Brisbane Airport". The tornado touched down near the airport for about two minutes, ripping off roof panels and sending cargo pods tumbling across the tarmac. The wild weather caused water leaks at the domestic terminal, but most of the damage was around the international terminal. "Some roofing panels and awnings and flashings have come off the terminal and some of the surrounds," a Brisbane Airport Corporation spokesperson said. "On the walkway between the terminal and the air train, some of the roofing has popped out."

The Brisbane Airport Corporation said flight delays were expected and they were assessing damage, but there have been no reports of injuries. The BOM said 101 millimeters of rain was recorded at the airport in an hour on Friday morning.

Brisbane Airport spokesperson Rachel Bronish said the airport was working to assess and "rectify" any damage from the tornado. "We haven't had any reports of injuries which is fantastic news," she said. "But as you can imagine, there's been reports of water leaks and trees down and debris across the precinct."

She said the airport remained open throughout the tornado, but operations were "momentarily" suspended and flights were grounded. "Aircraft services were suspended for a short amount of time until the storm itself passed," she said.

"If anybody was due to fly out from Brisbane Airport yesterday afternoon, they were encourage to check in with their airline before heading to the airport … The Brisbane Airport website said five flights had been cancelled.

Just before 1:00pm, the BOM issued a fresh warning for a "very dangerous" thunderstorm warning impacting parts of the Gold Coast and Redland City.

At 4:20pm, the BOM warned of three "very dangerous" storm cells — at Gympie, Jimna and a third south of the Queensland border moving north toward the Scenic Rim.

By 6:00pm, the storms were no longer considered dangerous.
More showers and storms to come however.

Thursday 21 October 2021

Storm damages aircraft at Mackay Airport

North Queensland Airports CEO Richard Barker said the 120kph winds at Mackay airport yesterday were the fastest in the 14 years they have been recording wind speeds. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said it recorded wind gusts of up to 120 kilometres per hour at Mackay Airport at 2:45pm. The strong winds caused two light aircraft to come together causing significant damage. While larger planes were mostly unaffected and scheduled flights were still operating, Mr Barker said there had been some damage to unsecured small aircraft. Two small aircraft owners will be quite upset, because one of them is upside-down on top of the other he said.

The BOM also said 6cm-sized hail was observed near Mackay and 3cm hail at Mount Morgan this afternoon.

Aircraft No 1 Information:
Owner: Private
Aircraft: Skyfox CA25N Gazelle
Registration: VH-OKF
Serial Number: CA25N087

Aircraft No 2 Information:
Owner: Private
Aircraft: Ultralight
Registration: 25-3414
Serial Number:

Wednesday 20 October 2021

McDonnell Douglas MD-87 crashes on take off

A McDonnell Douglas MD-87 travelling from Houston Executive Airport (TME/KTME) to Boston-Logan International Airport, MA (BOS/KBOS) has burst into flames after coming to rest in a field near Houston Executive Airport, TX. All 21 passengers and crew are said to have evacuated safely with two people being injured. The aircraft was attempting to take off from runway 36 at Houston Executive Airport at the time of the accident. The aircraft went through a fence and took down powerlines before it came to a stop about 500 m past the end of the runway.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: 987 Investments
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas MD-87
Registration: N987AK
Serial Number: 49404
Engines: 2 x PW JT8D-217C
First Flew: 01/12/1987
Age: 33 Yrs 10 mts

The MD 87 history
08/01/1988 Finnair OH-LMB
14/11/2000 Aeromexico N204AM 
28/08/2015 987 Investments LLC N987AK 

Monday 18 October 2021

Brisbane to Cairns flight

This week is our wedding anniversary and we were booked to fly to Hobart, Tasmania. Two days before we were due to leave Hobart went into a 3 day lockdown so our plans were cancelled on the spot. With a day to go I frantically had to plan another getaway, and Cairns ended up being the destination. Yesterday afternoon my family and I flew from Brisbane to Cairns for the week.





JESTSTAR A320-232 VH-VQH (MSN 2766)



QANTAS B737-838 VH-VZX (MSN 34188)


JETSTAR A320-232 VH-VGY (MSN 4177)

Japan Airlines 777 engine malfunction after takeoff

JAPAN AIR B787-9 JA866J (MSN 35423)         File Photo

A Tokyo-bound Japan Airlines Boeing 777 had to return to Los Angeles after departure following an engine malfunction. The incident occurred on the 15th October just as the aircraft was climbing out of the Californian air hub, and resulted in flames being emitted from the jet’s right-hand turbofan. 

Japan Airlines flight JL15 was travelling from Los Angeles International (LAX/KLAX) in California it's destination in Tokyo Haneda (HND/RJTT)

Its arrival there was timed to take place at 17:20 the next day, giving a planned duration of 11 hours and 35 minutes. 

JAL has exclusively deployed the Boeing 777-300ER on this flight in the last month. The Japanese flag carrier faces strong competition on the route, with four other carriers present. These are American Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines.

According to reports flight JL15 didn’t get off to the best start, departing almost an hour late at 14:33 local time. However, the flight was about to run into far greater problems. Indeed, The Aviation Herald reports that, while climbing away from runway 25R at LAX, the aircraft experienced a fiery engine malfunction With flames being emitted from the 777’s right-hand GE90 turbofan, the crew declared an emergency. Having stopped their climb at 5,000 feet, ATC instructed them to continue to 6,000 feet to begin the fuel dumping process. This ensured that the plane wouldn’t be overweight upon landing.

Circling to the southwest of the city near Santa Catalina Island, the flight eventually dumped enough fuel to be at a suitable landing weight. It touched back down safely on LAX’s runway 25L, with data from showing that it did so at 15:18 local time, after 45 eventful minutes in the air. A safe taxi back to the apron followed.

The Boeing 777-300ER that experienced the fiery engine malfunction bears the registration JA740J. Data from shows that it is 13.16 years old, having joined JAL brand-new in August 2008. It seats 244 passengers in a four-class configuration.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Japan Air
Code: JL/JAL
Aircraft: Boeing 777-346ER
Registration: JA740J
Serial Number: 36127
Engines: 2 x GE GE90-115B
First Flew: 24th August 2008
Age: 13 Yrs 2 Mts

Story sourced from here with additions.

Saturday 16 October 2021

Goodbye Alitalia - Hello ITA

Alitalia, the largest airline of Italy, took its last flight on Thursday evening before passing the baton to Italy's new national airline, ITA, which began operations on Friday. The final flight for Alitalia, AZ1586, from Rome (FCO/LIRF) to Cagliari (CAG/LIEE), brought to an end a 74-year history between Italy and the flag carrier. The final flight was carried out by one of their Airbus A320-216 aircraft, EI-DSV (MSN 3598)
It was a sad, bitter day for Alitalia employees, as most of whom will not be re-hired by ITA . The state-owned airline struggled with profitability but was always bailed out by the government. This financial support stopped in 2006 when the EU called an end to the practice, leaving the airline struggling. Over subsequent years Alitalia went through various failed investment deals as it attempted to cut costs, all in the face of looming bankruptcy and union strikes. Thursday was also an emotional day for many Italians who saw the now bankrupt airline and its iconic 'A' tail-wing logo as a symbol of national pride.

The Alitalia story began on the 16th September 1946, a year after the war, when Alitalia was established as Aerolinee Italiane Internazionali, funded by the Italian government and British European Airways (BEA) in a 60/40 share arrangement.

Alitalia was the flag carrier and largest airline of Italy. The company had its head office in Fiumicino, Rome. The airline was fully owned by the Government of Italy since the 17th March 2020. The airline launched operations on the 5th May 1947, with an inaugural flight from Turin Caselle (TRN/LIMF) to Catania (CTA/LICC) and Rome (FCO/LIRF).

The airline operated a fleet of Airbus A319, Airbus A320, Airbus A321, Airbus A330-200, and Boeing 777-200ER aircraft to over 34 scheduled domestic, European and intercontinental destinations. The airline operated from its main hub at Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport. The airline was a full member of SkyTeam alliance and it has codeshare agreements with 42 airlines. 
 Alitalia soon expanded to countries around Europe, while its first flight intercontinental flights launched in 1948, between Milan and South America. On the 31st October 1957 Alitalia merged with Linee Aeree Italiane and took on the name of Alitalia – Linee Aeree Italiane.
In 2018, the airline was the twelfth-largest airline in Europe.

The airline has been in extraordinary administration since 2017 following years of not turning a profit. On the 24th August 2021, Alitalia announced that it will cease flights on the 14th October 2021, and that passengers with tickets for later flights may reschedule on an earlier flight or request a refund. On the 15th October 2021, its operations and assets were transferred to ITA Airways, a new state-owned flag carrier.

ITA Airways, Italia Trasporto Aereo, is the new state-owned flag carrier of Italy. It was founded on the 11th November 2020 and commenced operations on the 15th October 2021
The airline is fully owned by the Government of Italy via their Ministry of Economy and Finance. 
The airline has taken over the assets of the former Italian flag carrier, Alitalia. 

ITA Airways Logo.png

As of 15 October 2021, ITA Airways operates the following aircraft:

Airbus A220  22* TBA Delivery starts in 2022, 15 leased from Air Lease Corporation, while 7 purchased directly from Airbus.
Airbus A319-100 18^    Taken over from Alitalia.
Airbus A320-200 27^ — 36* Taken over from Alitalia.
Airbus A320neo 13* TBA Delivery starts in 2022, 2 leased from Air Lease Corporation and 11 purchased from Airbus.
Airbus A321neo  9* TBA Delivery starts in 2022, all 9 leased from Air Lease Corporation.
Airbus A330-200 7^ — 20*   Taken over from Alitalia.
Airbus A330neo — 15* TBA Delivery starts in 2022, 5 leased from Air Lease Corporation and 10 purchased directly from Airbus.
Airbus A350-900 — 8* TBA Delivery starts in 2022, all 8 leased from Air Lease Corporation.
Total in service 52^
Total on order 67*

Wednesday 13 October 2021

Brand new budget airline to enter Australian market

Australia will get a new domestic airline from early next year when Bonza expects to take to the skies, taking advantage of an expected boom in air travel in a post-pandemic world. Bonza, which is backed by a US investment firm and headed by ex-Virgin Blue executive Tim Jordan, is promising “ultra low prices” to travel around the country in 2022.

“Bonza’s mission is to encourage more travel by providing more choices and ultra-low fares, particularly into leisure destinations where travel is now often limited to connections via major cities,” CEO and founder Jordan said. Bonza’s ambition is broad but it appears there will be a focus on regional communities, with new routes in the wings.

Jordan has more than 25 years of experience in the aviation industry and recently was managing director of FlyArystan, the first low-cost carrier in Central Asia. 

US investment firm 777 Partners is backing Bonza, which subject to regulatory approval expects to launch services in early 2022 with Boeing 737-8 aircraft.

“We see huge potential in the Australian market to deliver the benefits and options that an independent low fare airline brings,” 777 Partners managing partner Josh Wander said in a statement.

Bonza will sport white and purple livery on its aircraft and plans to base its headquarters in regional Australia, with the exact location yet to be revealed.

Australia is the only country out of the top 15 domestic aviation markets without an independent airline and the budget end of the local market has been moribund since the closure of low-cost airline Tigerair Australia, by parent company Virgin Australia, in September 2020.

Bonza chief executive Tim Jordan said that the airline would be one focused on Australia’s ‘tradies, teachers, kids and carers,’ and will concentrate on opening up new destinations rather than just concentrating on Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The majority of routes Bonza has identified are not currently offered by existing carriers.

“We’re for the everyday Australian...we won’t have the bells and whistles offering with lounges and frequent flyer programs,” Mr Jordan said.

Tuesday 12 October 2021

Qatar Airways seeks year-round Brisbane flights

The Gulf carrier wants to help connect Brisbane and Queensland to the rest of the world on a year-round basis.

QATAR BOEING 777-3DZ A7-BAE (MSN 36104)    File Photo

Qatar Airways hopes to permanently add Brisbane to its extensive network, based in part on the airline’s ongoing support of flights to and from Australia throughout the pandemic. The Gulf carrier’s flights between Doha and Brisbane have been operating on a temporary basis, but the airline has requested this be switched to a permanent arrangement allowing daily flights to the Queensland capital.

I hope that the government will rethink the request of Qatar Airways, keeping in mind that we were the only foreign carrier that was dedicated, even at a time that we were making losses on the route, to keep on connecting Australia to the outside world,” Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker tells Executive Traveller.

“Even though there were capacity restrictions and frequency restrictions, we continued our operations to serve the people of Australia, so our commitment was there not only in good times but also in bad times.”

The major obstacle to Qatar’s continued flying to Brisbane is a Government-imposed limit on its services to Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane, and in particular that Qatar’s second daily Doha-Sydney service must extend to Canberra.
About that odd Canberra leg...

“The problem with Sydney is that if we fly the second daily frequency to Sydney, we have to extend it to Canberra” Al Baker explains.

This is a workaround which allows for doubly-daily Sydney flights if that extra flight continues to a ‘regional airport’ – a category which happens to include the airport for Australia’s capital city.

Qatar Airways began its Doha-Sydney-Canberra route in February 2018, but the schedule called for the aircraft to spend over five hours on the ground at Canberra before returning to Sydney and onwards to Doha.

“That is very uneconomical for us, because we also have to leave the aircraft there for an extended period of time, so this is a very big financial drain – and we have no other alternative because we can only operate two flights to Sydney if we extend one to Canberra.”

Statistics from the Australian Government’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport, and Regional Economics highlighted that in between July 2018-June 2019, the airline saw a load factor of just 12% on this Canberra leg. “We cannot bring passengers from Canberra to Sydney, we can only bring passengers in transit to carry them beyond Sydney from Canberra.”

“So we would like to drop it because connecting the capital to Sydney is a route that should be flown by Qantas.” Another factor in Qatar’s favour for continued flights to Brisbane is that Etihad Airways confirmed in October 2020 that it would no longer fly to the Queensland capital even after the pandemic shockwave subsides.

Brisbane was one of several “underperforming” destinations culled from Etihad’s network, in a decision the airline described as “a commercial one” made “as part of an ongoing review”.

Full story by David Flynn and sourced from here
Qatar Airways seeks year-round Brisbane flights - Executive Traveller

Monday 11 October 2021

Plane carrying parachutists crashes, 16 killed

A Let L-410UVP-E3 aircraft carrying a group of parachute jumpers crashed after takeoff in the Russian region of Tatarstan early on Sunday, killing 16 people and injuring six, the Emergencies Ministry said.

The aircraft had just departed Menzelinsk Airport (UWKP) when at a height of 70 metres, the pilots reported that their left engine had failed and attempted an emergency landing near the city of Menzelinsk, trying to turn the plane leftward to avoid an inhabited area, the regional governor said. The aircraft was observed flying downwind until it descended and impacted the ground. It crashed onto a concrete wall segment and a pile of logs then the plane overturned, Tatarstan's governor Rustam Minnikhanov said. The aircraft had been carrying 20 parachutists and two crew members. Six people were in a serious condition, the Health Ministry said. The Let L-410 Turbolet twin-engine short-range transport aircraft was owned by an aeroclub in the city of Menzelinsk. The aeroclub declined to comment, citing a law enforcement investigation into the incident.

Aircraft Information:
Owner/Operator: DOSAAF
Aircraft: Let L-410UVP-E3
Registration: RF-94591
Serial Number: 871826

Thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends during this difficult time.

Sunday 10 October 2021

Security incident' prompts plane evacuation at LaGuardia Airport: Passenger in custody

A plane carrying 80 passengers and crew has been evacuated on the runway at New York City’s LaGuardia airport after a report of a suspicious package caused an emergency landing. "An Embraer E75 regional jet operating as Republic Airlines Flight 4817 traveling from Indianapolis (IND/KIND) to New York landed safely at LaGuardia Airport (LGA/KLGA) at approximately 3:03 pm. local time after a security incident," the Federal Aviation Administration told Fox News in a statement. "All passengers are safely off the plane."

American Airlines, a Republic Airways partner, issued a statement confirming that an incident took place..

The possible security concern prompted an emergency landing at LaGuardia Airport and the arrest of a passenger aboard the plane, multiple agencies confirmed Saturday.

The plane made an emergency landing after passengers reported suspicious behavior from someone on board the flight, a Port Authority spokesperson said. The passenger was taken into custody for questioning but further details about the behavior were not immediately known. There is "no indication" of any substantial threat to the plane, the spokesperson confirmed. The passenger's "suspicious" behavior prompted the plane's pilot to radio ahead for an emergency and prepare officials to respond once the plane landed.

Video captured by a passenger and shared with NBC News firefighters attending to one person lying face down on the taxiway. 

Friday 8 October 2021

Baby born on Air India flight from London

AIR INDIA B787-8 VT-ANR (MSN 36289)      File Photo

An Air India flight from London (LHR/EGLL) to Cochin (COK/VOCI) was diverted this week due to an uncommon event: a new passenger joining mid-air. On Tuesday, a woman onboard AI150 gave birth over the Black Sea, requiring the crew to divert to Frankfurt (FRA/EDDF) for essential medical care. Luckily, the flight had no shortage of experienced professionals, with two doctors and four nurses all joining the crew to complete a successful delivery.

According to The Times Of India, Air India flight AI150 from London Heathrow to Cochin became a lot more eventful than passengers expected. The Boeing 787-8 with 202 travelers onboard departed London at 13:33 local time, heading over continental Europe to make its way back home. However, just under three hours into the flight, a woman onboard went into labor.

The crew, trained to deal with pregnancies onboard, quickly jumped into action to assist the passenger. A call to the cabin also yielded six medical staff to take over the delivery, with two doctors and four nurses all coming forward. The baby was born just over the Black Sea and is reportedly healthy.

With the health of the mother and child as the top priority, the pilots decided to divert to Frankfurt instead of continuing to Cochin. The diversion took two hours to complete, with AI150 landing in Germany at 19:33 local time, five hours after first leaving London. In a statement, an AI spokesperson said,

“The human face of Air India was evident yet again as a lady passenger flying from Cochin to London went into labour mid-air. Our experienced cabin crew swung into action and identifying doctors on board sought their assistance to deliver the child…All onboard equipment were used, two first-aid kits and one physician’s kit. The baby and mother, who was seven months pregnant, are fine. The woman, newborn and one person travelling with her have alighted at Frankfurt.”

With the health of the mother and child as the top priority, the pilots decided to divert to Frankfurt instead of continuing to Cochin. The diversion took two hours to complete, with AI150 landing in Germany at 19:33 local time, five hours after first leaving London. In a statement, an AI spokesperson

Childbirths on flights remain a rare occurrence and airlines are generally strict about allowing pregnant women onboard in their last two months of the term. Restrictions vary across carriers, with some restricting travel at 28 weeks, while domestic airlines may allow up to 36 weeks. Some international flights also require a certificate proving the age to avoid onboard births.

However, premature deliveries or unclear information can lead to onboard deliveries. This is why cabin crew training includes childbirth, ensuring that at least some aid can be provided in this rare situation. A combination of this and a doctor onboard can help in safe delivery, although nowhere near the usual conditions of a hospital.

AI150 is now one of the many miracle flights that have added a passenger while in the skies. In late August, a Turkish Airlines evacuation flight from Afghanistan also saw a baby born onboard as did a domestic IndiGo flight in March. Our congratulations and best wishes to the mother and child!

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Air India
Code: AI/AIC
Aircraft: Boeing 787-8
Registration: VT-ANA
Serial Number:36273
First Flew: January 2014

Thursday 7 October 2021

Qantas flies mega 14,673KM flight to Darwin

QANTAS B787-9 VH-ZNF (MSN 36239)       File Photo

A Qantas Dreamliner completed a record breaking flight from Buenos Aires (EZE/SAEZ) to Darwin (DRW/YPDN) yesterday, a 9,118 mile (14,673 kilometer) odyssey that took 17 hours - 26 minutes to complete. The flight is going into the record books as the longest ever commercial Qantas flight. VH-ZNH (MSN 36241) named the Great Barrier Reef took off from Buenos Aires’ Ezeiza International Airport at 12:44 local time on Tuesday.

                                                        Image - Flightradar24

The flight is slightly longer distance-wise than the marathon Perth-London flights Qantas operated until it suspended its international services in 2020. However, it is shorter than the occasional nonstop jaunt between London and Sydney Qantas has flown before. But those London-Sydney flights didn’t carry fare-paying passengers. Today’s flight to Darwin does.

But this is no regular flight. It is another one of the many repatriation flights Qantas runs on behalf of the Australian Government to get stranded Australians home. Nearly eighteen months after borders closed, that saga continues.

Onboard are fare-paying Australians. Some, who were in dire straits, were handpicked to fly by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Others bought tickets normally and had to position themselves at EZE to fly out on Tuesday.

The flight is interesting for a few reasons. It’s a long flight that will push the Dreamliner towards to limit of its capabilities. The journey overflies a part of the world that rarely sees aircraft. Finally, the flight’s arrival into Darwin rockets that small airport into haloed territory.

According to an Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) report on Wednesday morning, last nights arrival of QF14 saw Darwin join just three other airports that have ever received nonstop flights from all six continents. Those other airports are Doha, Dubai, and London.

Story sourced from here but with alterations:
Qantas Flies Mega 14,673KM Flight To Darwin - Simple Flying