Thursday 31 August 2023

Two new airlines add Perth WA to their schedule

Both Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet have announced they will commence services to Perth in Western Australia.


Vietnam Airlines has revealed that it will commence services to Perth (PER/YPPH) on the 7th of December with a three times weekly service to Ho Chi Minh City (SGN/VVTS).

The flights will operate into Perth on Monday, Thursday and Saturday arriving at 11.05 pm and will depart the following morning, Tuesday, Friday and Sunday at 12.50 am.

The flights will be operated by Boeing 787-9s and will be in direct competition with Vietjet.

VIETJET AIR AIRBUS A321-211 VN-A647 (MSN 8061)

Vietjet will operate twice a week with a 230-seat Airbus A321neo aircraft from Ho Chi Minh City starting on the 21st of November.

The flight departs Ho Chi Minh City on Mondays and Fridays at 1.35 pm and arrives in Perth at 9.20 pm.
The return flight departs Perth at 11.20 pm and arrives in Ho Chi Minh City at 05.05 am on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

The airline, one of the fastest growing in Asia, operate flights to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and has been expected to add Perth for some time now.


Tuesday 29 August 2023

Thai Airways puts A380 fleet up for sale

Thai Airways International (TG, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi) is inviting qualified buyers to bid for one or more of its six A380-841s, issuing tender documentation on the 22nd of August 2023. The airline seeks to dispose of its entire A380 fleet, which it retired from service in 2021. A proposal to bring some back into service late last year did not make it past the planning stage.
Interested buyers must submit a proforma general information proposal, which includes a refundable USD50,000 per plane bidding deposit and price proposal no later than 2359L (1659Z) on September 12, 2023. The sale is conducted with the approval and supervision of the Bangkok Bankruptcy Court and is subject to final approval from Thai's plan administrator.

The aircraft, all still fitted with four Rolls-Royce Trent 970-84 engines, are.

HS-TUA (MSN 0087) first flew 05/03/2012 and has completed 32,880 flight hours 

HS-TUB (MSN 0093) first flew 06/06/2012 and has completed 32,699 flights hours 

HS-TUC (MSN 0100) first flew 13/08/2012 and has completed 32,550 flight hours

HS-TUD (MSN 0122) first flew 12/10/2012 and has completed 31,188 flight hours 

HS-TUE (MSN 0125) first flew 18/06/2013 and has completed 30,645 flight hours 

HS-TUF (MSN 0131) first flew 24/04/2013 and has completed 29,639 flight hours 

The A380s are sold on an as-is, where-is basis, with HS-TUE and HS-TUF stored at Utapao (UTP/VTBU) and the remaining four kept at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. Individuals or entities who have previously been or are currently blacklisted by Thai, or subject to sanctions administered, enacted or enforced by the United Nations or the US government are ineligible to bid. "The bidder must act as principal for its own account and not as an agent or broker," the documentation reads. "In the event that the proposal is accepted, Thai will enter into a sale and purchase agreement with the successful bidder only and not with an affiliate or any other entity, whether associated or not with the bidder."

The proposal shall include general company information about the bidder, certain constitutional documents, certain board approval documents, relevant power of attorney documents, a signed non-disclosure agreement, proof of funds to finance the purchase, the bid deposit, and a USD price proposal. There is no reserve price for the aircraft. "Thai, at its own discretion, reserves the right to consider selling any of the used aircraft to the bidder which Thai considers is of the best interest to Thai," says the documentation.

The terms of sale require a 20% deposit to be paid to Thai within five working days of executing a purchase agreement, with the balance to be paid on or before the agreed aircraft delivery date. Inspection of the aircraft is available at a time and date suitable to both parties. However, the bid documentation notes there may be a USD5,000 charge per inspected aircraft, calling it an "aircraft inspection preparation cost."

The laws of Thailand govern the sale process, and the airline reserves the right to accept or reject any bid without providing a reason and without incurring any liabilities. Successful bidders shall be required to export the aircraft from Thailand within 30 days of delivery and must bear any costs incurred in this process, including all applicable taxes.

Successful bidders will be required to enter into a purchase agreement within ten working days of receiving notice from Thai they their bid succeeded. The two stages of handover include the technical acceptance, and delivery of the aircraft. Both will take place at a mutually agreed time and date.

Monday 28 August 2023

US military aircraft crash in Australia

A USMC Bell Boeing MV-22B Osprey crashed during the Exercise Predator's Run 2023 at Melville Island, Tiwi Islands, about 60km north of Darwin, Northern Territory.
There were 23 POB. Three US marines died and five have been transported by CareFlight to the Royal Darwin Hospital in serious condition, one of them critical, and the other marines were treated at the site of the crash.

Multiple investigations are underway following the crash on Melville Island, north of Darwin, on Sunday. Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles said the crash had triggered "a number of investigations".
"That process is already underway," he told ABC Radio Darwin.

"We will work closely with the US around the jurisdictional basis and the interaction of those investigations".

A St John Ambulance spokesperson said the service had helped CareFlight and the Australian Defence Force move 20 patients from various locations in Darwin to the Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH) on Sunday. They said seven patients had been transported to RDH in St John vehicles, with one in a critical condition and six in a serious condition.

Marles said out of the five marines who remain in hospital, one was in a critical condition. He said local services were on the scene of the crash near Pickertaramoor, two kilometer's inland on Melville Island, "almost immediately".

"I think that's played a really important part in making sure we've had as many people survive as possible from this crash," he said. "Twenty-three people were on board and 20 people have survived the crash, which is remarkable."

He said the US government would be responsible for publicly identifying the marines who had died.
"We now will work closely with the US government around repatriation of their remains," he said.

Osprey a 'unique' aircraft

This is the tenth fatal crash involving a Marine Osprey since 1992, resulting in a total of 53 deaths.


However, Marles refused to say that Australian defence personnel would be prevented from boarding the aircraft while the investigation is underway.

"The Ospreys have remarkable capability," he said.

"We routinely work with the US with the Osprey.

"We need to let this investigation play out to understand exactly what has happened here."

Keith Tonkin, who served 15 years in the Royal Australian Air Force, followed by nearly a decade of experience in international and domestic airline operations, said the Osprey was a very specific aircraft type.

"This aircraft can take off vertically and fly relatively fast and carry more than a helicopter can carry on that sort of mission," he told News Breakfast.

"It was designed for a very specific task and that was to fly to places where we don't have a prepared runway or helicopter landing site.

"Even if it's an open area, it can land and take off and carry quite a few people and because of that, we have a higher number of fatalities if the aircraft is fully loaded.

"We can only imagine that something horrible happened to cause that, knowing that the people operating the aircraft [are] highly skilled and experienced."

Military analyst and retired US Air Force Colonel, Cedric Leighton, said the investigation would consider mechanical and maintenance issues with the aircraft.

"There have been accidents throughout its history. And of course, its unique characteristics, which are kind of a cross between a helicopter and a fixed wing aircraft, make it perhaps more vulnerable to mechanical issues than other aircraft," he said.


Thursday 24 August 2023

Qantas schedule change in LAX will impact passengers


Qantas is switching up its A380 schedule on flagship route Sydney to Los Angeles, and the move will result in some challenging connections within the US while almost ruling out same-day onward flights to eastern hubs such as New York and Chicago.

Instead of the daily QF11 superjumbo making its leisurely mid-morning jaunt from Sydney to arrive into LAX around 7am, Qantas’ timetable from late March 2024 shows QF11 departing some ten hours later at 5.15pm, resulting in a 2pm landing at Los Angeles.

While that’s certainly a better time for checking into your LA hotel, the revised schedule is not friendly for passengers with onward flights to many other US destinations.

New York is a case in point: because flying from west to east you already lose three hours in timezone-hopping alone, while the actual flight takes around six hours.

Following QF11’s revised 2pm LAX arrival, the next flight to New York on Oneworld partner American Airlines is wheels-up at 4pm (with a scramble to get through immigration, pick-up and recheck bags, change terminals and go through security again). You then don’t reach New York until 1am.

Bound for Chicago? It’s a similar story, with American’s 5.45pm from LAX touching down in The Windy City around midnight.

Seattle is another popular add-on leg for QF11, but after a three-hour layover at LAX the next flight from Oneworld partner Alaska Airlines reaches Seattle at 8.30pm.

Note that at the time of writing this new schedule doesn’t apply to every QF11 flight – there appears to be a tendency for Friday’s Sydney-to-LA superjumbo service to remain on the current 10.20am/7am roster).

The QF12 return flight shows little change, so the rationale for Qantas’ move to a late afternoon departure of QF11 appears to be reducing the time these superjumbos spend sitting around at LAX.

Of course, if you’re intending to fly to New York, the smarter move is to skip that LA stopover altogether and hop onto Qantas’ Sydney-Auckland-New York Boeing 787, which moves to a convenient daily frequency as of August 2024.

And if your eye is on the south-eastern cruise hub of Miami, Qantas would probably steer you towards its Sydney-Dallas and Melbourne-Dallas flights.

Full story sourced from here:
Qantas LAX A380 change will hit thousands of passengers - Executive Traveller

Tuesday 22 August 2023

Qantas and Emirates to continue transport coordination

The ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) has granted authorisation for Qantas Airways Ltd, Emirates and their related entities (including Jetstar) to continue coordinating their passenger and cargo transport operations across their networks until 2028. These networks cover routes between Australia and the UK/Europe, New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.

“We think this continual coordination will benefit travellers by facilitating connectivity between a wide range of destinations as well as optimising earning and redemption opportunities from their respective loyalty rewards programs,” ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said. “Passengers travelling on routes where Qantas and Emirates provide overlapping services will have greater choice of flight times and travel options.”

However, the ACCC is concerned that the coordination between Qantas and Emirates could impact competition on the Sydney to Christchurch route as Air New Zealand is the only other airline operating that route. “We have granted authorisation with a condition that Qantas and Emirates must provide regular updates on passenger revenue and operating costs to enable us to monitor competition on this route over the next five years,” Brakey said.

The ACCC previously authorised this alliance in 2013 and 2018 with conditions. The 2018 authorisation was due to expire on 31 March 2023. On 23 March 2023, the ACCC granted interim authorisation to enable Qantas Airways Ltd, Emirates and their related entities (including Jetstar) to continue coordinating their operations while the ACCC assesses their substantive application for re-authorisation. On 22 June 2022, the ACCC issued a draft determination proposing to grant re-authorisation for 5 years until 2028 with a proposed condition that requires the Qantas Group and Emirates to report data to the ACCC relating to their operation of services on the Sydney-Christchurch route every 6 months over the authorisation period. A copy of that determination is available on the ACCC public register at: Qantas Airways Ltd and Emirates

Sunday 20 August 2023

More from the Pacific Air Show Gold Coast - Part One

Yesterday we attended the air show again, but this time from a different location. We decided to move down closer to where the action is. As I was sitting on our motel balcony, I noticed so whales out in the ocean.

Then, when we arrived at our location for the day, we saw people gathering at the water's edge and pointing. We then noticed a seal was right there on the water's edge.

As we waited for the show to start, we watched Air Asia X Airbus A330 come past as it made its way from Kuala Lumpur to the Gold Coast. Then, next minute we saw it approaching again, as it performed a missed approach into Coolangatta, and came around for a second attempt.

Show time, I took over 1,200 photos yesterday. I will post the photos (not all 1,200 of them) over two separate posts.

More from the Pacific Air Show Gold Coast - Part two