Tag Archives: Airbus

ANA firms up its order for seven additional Airbus A321s

ANA A321neo (82)(Flt)(Airbus)(LRW)

ANA Holdings (ANA-All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) has firmed up an order for seven more A321 aircraft (four A321ceo with Sharklets and three A321neo), following the previous announcement in January this year. This firm order brings ANA’s total order for the A320 Family to 37 aircraft (26 A321neo, four A321ceo with Sharklet, and seven A320neo).

ANA Group will be the first Japanese carrier to operate three variants of the A320 Family, the A321neo, the A321ceo and the A320neo. With an optimised use of cabin space called ‘Cabin-Flex’, the A321neo will typically seat up to 240 passengers while maintaining Airbus’ standard comfort standard of at least 18 inch wide seats. The A321ceo will seat up to 220, and the A320neo up to 180 people.

Image: Airbus.

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Allegiant goes to court to prevent a strike by its pilots

Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) and its relationship with its pilots, represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), seems to be getting worse. Yesterday afternoon the airline went to a local U.S. District Court in Las Vegas to block a threatened strike by its pilots. The unionized pilots see a strike as their last resort in the stalled contract talks that are headed towards arbitration.

The company issued this statement:

Allegiant Air has received a court order, pilots will resume flying.

A court in Las Vegas has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1224, which represents the Allegiant pilots.

Allegiant has every reason to believe that the Teamsters will honor the court’s instructions and will not be able to continue with their illegal intention to strike. This order will prevent a threatened pilots’ strike which would have left potentially thousands of travelers with cancelled flights over the Easter holiday weekend. Based on this, all scheduled Allegiant flights are expected to operate normally.

With the threat of an imminent strike over, Allegiant hopes that both parties can now focus on the next federally mediated negotiating session, scheduled for late April.

Previously before Allegiant went to court to get a restraining order, the pilot union issued this statement yesterday:

Veteran pilots at Allegiant Air, the country’s most profitable airline, announced this morning (April 1) that they will not be flying regularly scheduled routes on Thursday, April 2 from the airline’s major hubs across the country, including Orlando, Phoenix, Tampa and Las Vegas. The strike comes as Allegiant refuses to reestablish a prior scheduling system and restore other basic benefits that have been illegally rolled back over a two-year period during which the company has posted record-level profits. In January, 98 percent of the company’s pilots, including those on reserve duty, voted to authorize a strike.

“Striking is a last resort, but we cannot continue to stand by a company that flaunts the law by robbing the pilots of legally protected rights and benefits. The company has to restore the status quo that it illegally took from us,” said Tom Pozdro, a pilot based in Las Vegas. “We deeply regret the inconvenience to our passengers and other work groups and encourage them to call Allegiant, asking them to do what is right by honoring its commitment to its pilots and the public by restoring our basic, legally regarded standards, protections and benefits.”

The strike has the potential to ground more than 250 flights from taking off Thursday, impacting over 33,000 customers, including thousands headed to Las Vegas for March Madness Final Four events, Spring Break travelers and others. On Monday, pilots posted an open letter to Allegiant customers alerting them to concerns at the airline, including operational problems that lead to the delays and cancellations that have made Allegiant one of the least popular airlines in the travel industry.

Allegiant Air is the most profitable commercial airline in the U.S. with 48 consecutive profitable quarters. Its executives are among the highest compensated in the industry, with the company CEO – and largest shareholder – taking home tens of millions in shareholder returns in recent years.

“Allegiant is making millions in profits, yet executives refuse to invest in the company’s infrastructure, operations and workforce. The haphazard scheduling system is creating exhaustion and stress for pilots,” said Tom Cox, a pilot based out of Phoenix who has been with Allegiant for over five years. “Pilots at Allegiant want to put our company on the right track for long-term success, and that means reinvesting in its workforce and planes. They can start with complying with the law by reinstating the legally protected work rules and benefits they took from us.”

Read the full report from 8 News Now in Las Vegas: CLICK HERE

Anti-Union Allegiant CEO Maurice Gallegher’s worst nightmare: Read Ted Reed’s excellent story in Forbes: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N217NV (msn 1347) arrives back at the Sanford (near Orlando base).

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EASA certifies the new 242 ton version of the Airbus A330-300

Delta A330-300 42-T F-WWYX (07)(Nose)(RO) TLS (Airbus)(LRW)

Airbus (Toulouse) has issued this statement today:

The latest variant of the highly successful A330 – the new 242 metric ton A330-300 – has achieved certification from the European airworthiness authorities (EASA) following a 100 hour flight-test campaign. Certification from the US authorities (FAA) is also expected soon. Furthermore, and in the near future, the smaller A330-200 model will follow the -300 by benefiting from the 242 ton take-off weight capability. To date 11 customers have already selected their new A330s to have a 242 ton capability.

Eric Zanin, Airbus’ Head of the A330 Program said: “The latest A330’s maximum take-off weight capability of 242 metric tonnes, combined with various aerodynamic refinements and increased fuel capacity means that soon operators will benefit from an extended range of up to 500 nautical miles or carry greater payload. Moreover, they will do so with a fuel consumption reduction of up two percent – yet another concrete example of Airbus’ incremental innovation strategy.”

The initial certified A330-300 242 ton aircraft is powered by CF6-80E1 engines and certification with the other engine types – the PW4000 and Trent 700 – will follow.

The flight-test campaign of approximately 100 hours was shared between two aircraft: an Airbus test aircraft (msn 871) which was used to validate some aerodynamic refinements, and a new production aircraft (msn 1628) whose tasks included the validation of the *center tank activation and overall performance effect on the larger A330-300 platform. Notably, the 242 ton A330’s structure is also the basis for development of the forthcoming A330neo.

The combination of the increased take-off weight, aerodynamic improvements and the optional fuel capacity boost – compared with the previous 235 ton version – means that the new 242 ton A330-300 is capable of flying missions of up to 15 hours, or carry more payload over existing routes. In practice this means that it will allow operators to fly directly between Europe and south-East Asia and could be used for more than 90 percent of typical routes from London airports.

Photo: Airbus. Delta Air Lines is the launch customer.

Wizz Air Ukraine to be shut down, operations in the Ukraine are restructured

Wizz Air (Hungary) (Budapest) has announced it will close its Wizz Air (Ukraine) (Kiev-Zhulyany) subsidiary and replace it with a new Wizz Air (Hungary) Kiev base. The last Wizz Air (Ukraine) flights will be operated on April 19.

The airline issued this statement of the restructuring of operations in the Ukraine:

Wizz Air Holdings Plc announced that it will be further restructuring the Group’s operations in Ukraine. From April 20, 2015, Wizz Air Hungary will operate 8 routes into and out of Ukraine, to be followed by opening a Kiev base with one Airbus A320 aircraft on June 4, 2015.

Also from April 20, 2015, Wizz Air Ukraine – currently flying two aircraft on 16 Ukrainian routes – will cease operations. The second Airbus A320 aircraft currently based in Kiev will be redeployed to Wizz Air’s new operating base in Kosice, Slovakia, which will start operating new routes from Kosice to Milan Bergamo and Sheffield-Doncaster in early June 2015.

Following the removal of two aircraft from Ukraine last year, further capacity refinement and restructuring of Wizz Air’s operations in Ukraine were needed due to the ongoing instability in Eastern Ukraine, the devaluation and volatility of the local currency and the impact of foreign exchange controls. Wizz Air Hungary’s operation will significantly mitigate these impacts and enable Wizz Air to remain one of the major airlines in the Ukrainian market and stand ready for expansion once market circumstances improve.

CONTINUED UKRAINE ROUTES

Kiev – Budapest

Unaffected – Bookings Unaffected

Kiev – London Luton

Unaffected – Bookings Unaffected

Kiev – Cologne

Flights need to be re-booked with Wizz Air Hungary

Kiev – Dortmund

Flights need to be re-booked with Wizz Air Hungary

Kiev – Hamburg-Lübeck

Flights need to be re-booked with Wizz Air Hungary

Kiev – Katowice

Flights need to be re-booked with Wizz Air Hungary

Kiev – Larnaca

Flights need to be re-booked with Wizz Air Hungary

Kiev – Munich Memmingen

Flights need to be re-booked with Wizz Air Hungary

Customers holding tickets from April 20, 2015 on the routes noted above will need to re-book their flights with Wizz Air Hungary, who will be operating these routes from April 20, 2015.

These customers will be contacted for a full refund and will be able to purchase replacement tickets on Wizz Air Hungary at the same price as the original ticket (“Wizz Air Fare Guarantee”).

DISCONTINUED UKRAINE ROUTES

Kiev – Barcelona Girona

Kiev – Valencia

Kiev – Kutaisi

Kiev – Moscow

Kiev – Milan Bergamo

Kiev – Naples

Kiev – Venice Treviso

Lviv – Milan Bergamo

Lviv – Naples

Lviv – Venice Treviso

Customers on these services will be contacted for a full refund.

The restructuring of the Group’s Ukrainian operations and the closure of Wizz Air Ukraine will not have a material effect on the Group’s trading in the current year and subsequent financial years.

Copyright Photo: Nik French/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 UR-WUB (msn 3741) of Wizz Air (Ukraine) arrives at Antalya, Turkey.

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Yemenia suspends all operations until further notice

Yemenia-Yemen Airways (Sana’a) has suspended all operations until further notice due to the “current crisis and for safety reasons”.

Yemenia logo

Fighting is on-going in the country and was recently expanded with a 10-nation coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the Royal Saudi Air Force with airstrikes against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels near Sana’a International Airport.

Copyright Photo: Pascal Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 7O-ADT (msn 632) of Yemenia rotates at Frankfurt.

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TSB issues this preliminary report on the on-going investigation of Air Canada flight AC 624 at Halifax

Air Canada A320 C-FTJP (04)(Crash Site) Halifax (TSB)(LR)

Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) (Ottawa) yesterday (March 30) issued its first information and preliminary report on the crash landing of Air Canada flight ACA 624 at Halifax, Nova Scotia early on March 29:

Transportation Safety Board (TSB) logo

Collision with terrain involving an Air Canada Airbus A320 at Stanfield International Airport, Halifax, Nova Scotia

The occurrence

On March 29, 2015, at approximately 1240 a.m., Air Canada flight ACA 624, an Airbus A320, on a scheduled flight from Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Ontario (YYZ), to Halifax, Nova Scotia (YHZ), collided with terrain approximately 1100 feet from the threshold of Runway 05, eventually coming to rest about 1100 feet down the runway. There were 133 passengers and 5 crew members on board; all of whom exited the aircraft. Twenty-five people were taken to hospital for treatment of injuries.

What we know

The initial impact was significant and caused substantial damage to the aircraft. The main landing gear separated and the underside of the aircraft was heavily damaged (fuselage and wings). During this impact, the aircraft collided with a localizer antenna array – part of the instrument landing system – and became airborne again, travelling forward on Runway 05. There is an extensive debris field between the localizer antenna location and the threshold of the runway.

During the first day on site, Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigators documented the wreckage, the impact marks and the debris field. The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and the flight data recorder (FDR) were recovered from the aircraft and have been sent to the TSB Engineering Laboratory in Ottawa, Ontario.

Investigation team work

The investigation team is led by the Investigator-in-Charge, Doug McEwen. Mr. McEwen has been an investigator with the TSB for 18 years. He is assisted in this investigation by experts in flight operations, air traffic services, weather, aircraft structures, aircraft systems, aircraft engines, and human performance.

Some of these experts come from within the TSB, but assistance is also being provided by the following organizations: Transport Canada (TC), NAV CANADA, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Airbus, and France’s Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses. This is a normal part of any investigation, as these experts play a key role in helping the team uncover and understand all of the underlying factors which may have contributed to the accident.

Watchlist

Although more analysis is required, this accident displays some of the characteristics of an approach-and-landing accidents which is on TSB’s Watchlist.

Next steps

The investigation is ongoing and the next steps include the following:

survey the impact and wreckage site
continue examining and photographing the wreckage
removing the aircraft from the runway to restore normal operations
gather Air Traffic Control voice and data recordings
conduct witness interviews
gather meteorological information
collect operational information from the aircraft
preliminary review of the recorders at the TSB Lab to assist field investigators
determine which wreckage to collect for closer examination
further examination will be at the TSB Lab
Communication of safety deficiencies

Should the investigation team uncover safety deficiencies that present an immediate risk, they will be communicated without delay so they may be addressed quickly and the aviation system made safer.

The information posted is factual in nature and does not contain any analysis. Analysis of the accident and the Findings of the Board will be part of the final report. The investigation is ongoing.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

Air Canada provided this Update #3 on the accident:

Air Canada logo-1

Air Canada confirms that all but one of the passengers and crew admitted to area hospitals for observation and treatment have now been released.

“We at Air Canada are greatly relieved that no one was critically injured. Yet we fully appreciate this has been a very unsettling experience for our customers and their families, as well as our employees, and we are focused on caring for all those affected. We will also fully cooperate with the Transportation Safety Board as it begins an investigation to determine the cause,” said Klaus Goersch, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Air Canada.

Additional Air Canada management personnel have arrived in Halifax to provide assistance to passengers and their families

No further details are available at this time, however Air Canada will provide regular updates on Twitter and on its webite at aircanada.com as warranted.

Family members who seek information about passengers on Flight AC624 may telephone Air Canada at 1-800-961-7099.

Flight AC624, an Airbus A320 carrying 133 passengers and five crew, was involved in an incident upon landing at Halifax International Airport, Nova Scotia. The incident occurred at approximately 00:43 AT Sunday March 29 (23:43 ET March 28).

Top Photo: TSB. Airbus A320-211 C-FTJP (msn 214), while a probable insurance write off, is largely intact after the impact with terrain and allowed for the safe evacuation of the airliner.

QANTAS Group weighs in after Australia orders the “two person” cockpit rule

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) has issued this statement after the Australian government mandated the “two people in the cockpit” rule for Australian carriers:

Following discussions with the Federal Government, regulators and industry, the Qantas Group will have two approved people in the cockpit at all times in-flight.

This includes Qantas, QantasLink, Network Aviation and Jetstar flights.

When one pilot needs to leave the cockpit for any reason, another authorised person will occupy the jump seat (as distinct from the control seats occupied by the Captain and First Officer) until they return.

This policy applies to aircraft with more than 50 seats. Of a total Qantas Group fleet of around 300 aircraft, this excludes Qantaslink’s fleet of 18 Q200s and Q300s, which generally operate on short sectors of one or two hours where the need for pilots to leave the cockpit is minimal.

Qantas Group flights have between two and four operating pilots on board, depending on duration and aircraft type.

The safety and health of customers and employees is the Qantas Group’s number one priority. We have a comprehensive safety management system that guards against risks to our operations.

There are numerous layers of screening and support for pilots, ranging from regular medical checks to stress management training and confidential counselling and pilot-to-pilot support networks.

Together with regulators and other airlines, Qantas will closely study any learnings that stem from the Germanwings tragedy to help make aviation even safer.

Our deepest sympathies are with the loved ones of all those on board flight 4U 9525.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-842 VH-OQB (msn 015) climbs away from the runway at London Heathrow Airport bound for Sydney.

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