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Tag Archives: Boeing 777-200

Ethiopian Airlines and United Airlines to start a codeshare agreement on August 30

Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa) has announced that it has entered into a codeshare agreement with United Airlines (Chicago), effective on August 30, 2014.

Ethiopian, the biggest airline in Africa, currently flies to 82 international destinations across five continents operating a young and modern fleet, such as Boeing 787 and 777 aircraft. The carrier provides daily services to Washington Dulles Airport (IAD) using the Boeing 777 or Boeing 787 aircraft with convenient and easy connections through its main hub in Addis Ababa (ADD) to 49 cities across Africa.

The new codeshare agreement between the two Star Alliance member airlines covers the Addis Ababa–Washington, D.C. trunk route, as well as points in Africa and the U.S.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-260 LR ET-ANO (msn 40771) of Ethiopian Airlines lands at Washington’s Dulles International Airport (IAD).

Ethiopian Airlines: AG Slide Show

United Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

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Emirates today arrives in Chicago

Emirates (Dubai) today (August 6) will arrive in Chicago. The fast-growing airline commenced a daily nonstop passenger service to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport from Dubai.

The new service will operate as flight EK 235, departing from Dubai International airport at 9:45 a.m. (0945) and arriving at O’Hare at 3:25 p.m. (1525) The return flight, EK 236, will depart O’Hare at 8:35 p.m. (2035) and arrive in Dubai at 7:10 p.m. (1910) the next day. The route will be served by the U.S.-built Boeing 777-200 LR aircraft powered by GE90 engines.

In addition to passenger service, the Chicago-Dubai flight will carry up to 17 tons of cargo per flight and increase trade links between the two cities. Emirates began operating cargo service to Chicago in 2013. Currently, Emirates SkyCargo flies a twice-weekly, dedicated freight service out of O’Hare that carried nearly 12,000 tons of cargo last year.

Emirates began passenger services to the U.S. in 2004 with services to New York. The airline has steadily added more U.S. routes over the past decade. Chicago is the ninth U.S. gateway to join the Emirates network, following the launch of the Boston service in March. In the past decade, Emirates has flown more than 9 million people to and from the U.S. and is the airline which carries the most amount of passengers between the U.S. and Middle East. To cater to that demand, Emirates is upsizing services on its Dallas/Fort Worth, San Francisco and Houston (Bush Intercontinental) routes to its iconic double-decker A380 aircraft in late 2014.

Emirates is the largest operator of Boeing 777 aircraft in the world, with a fleet of 128 passenger aircraft and 11 freighters. The airline is a launch customer of Boeing’s new 777X. In November 2013, Emirates placed the largest single order in commercial aviation history for 150 777X aircraft valued at $76 billion. Based on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s aerospace export multiplier, this order will support more than 400,000 jobs in the United States.

The flight to Chicago is scheduled as a 14-hour, 40-minute flight.

Copyright Photo:Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-21H LR A6-EWA (msn 35572) arrives in Los Angeles.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

KLM to launch a new route to Bogota and Cali on March 31

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) will expand its long-haul service to South America next year. KLM will launch a new scheduled service to Colombia’s capital, Bogota, and Cali, the country’s third-largest city. From March 31, 2015, KLM will fly three times a week operating a Boeing 777-200 on flight KL 745. The circle flights will start in Amsterdam, stopping in Bogota and Cali, and returning directly to Amsterdam. The service will be part of KLM’s new summer schedule and will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-206 ER PH-BQP (msn 32721) in the special “Delft Blue” color scheme taxies at Toronto (Pearson).

KLM: AG Slide Show

 

International calls to secure the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 increase

The crash site of Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 17 with the pictured Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRD (msn 28411) in the Russian-speaking rebel-controlled part of eastern Ukraine remains largely unsecured. The world is calling for the crash site evidence to be properly secured.

From CNN:

“Bodies, backpacks, passports and other piles of debris lay splayed across a miles-long area in the remote area in eastern Ukraine where Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 17 came down. The crash site is massive — an international observer called it “one of the biggest crime scenes in the world right now.”

“Concern is growing that the site has not been sealed off as it should have been and that vital evidence is being tampered with. Meanwhile, armed rebels have greeted international observers with hostility.
Experts say that this crash investigation is unprecedented due to the site’s immense size and the lack of access given to investigators.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Malaysia MH 17 Crash Site (Google Maps)

Google Maps above: The location of the crash site in the eastern Russian-speaking (disputed) portion of the Ukraine near Donetsk.

Malaysia MH 17 Heartfelt Message

Meanwhile Malaysia Airlines today issued these two statements (and the message above) on the tragic crash of flight MH 17:

The first statement – from the Press Briefing by Liow Tiong Lai, Minister of Transport:

INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT

Today Malaysia Airlines have released the final list of nationalities on board flight MH 17. Each of the numbers represents a life lost, and a family in anguish. After this press conference, Malaysia Airlines will release the full passenger manifest.

Malaysia mourns the loss of all 298 passengers and crew. We feel for their families. And we promise to do all we can to ensure that the investigation is completed, and that justice is done.

ON THE INVESTIGATION:

Malaysia is deeply concerned that the crash site has not been properly secured. The integrity of the site has been compromised, and there are indications that vital evidence has not been preserved in place.

Interfering with the scene of the crash risks undermining the investigation itself. Any actions that prevent us from learning the truth about what happened to MH 17 cannot be tolerated. Failure to stop such interference would be a betrayal of the lives that were lost.

Malaysia calls for all parties to protect the integrity of the crash site, and to allow the investigation to proceed. We urge all those involved to respect the families, and the nations who have lost their sons and daughters in this attack.

Yes, MH 17 has become a geopolitical issue. But we must not forget that it is a human tragedy. Days after the plane went down, the remains of 298 people lie uncovered.

Citizens of eleven nations – none of whom are involved in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine –cannot be laid to rest. Their lives were taken by violence; now violence stops them being accorded their final respect. This cannot continue.

ON DEPLOYMENT:

Earlier today, Malaysia’s special team arrived in Kiev. We ask for continued support from the Ukrainian government, and the other parties involved, as the team seeks to assist the Ukrainian authorities in recovering and identifying the remains of the passengers and crew, and with the wider investigation.

The world has a moral obligation to ensure that the remains of all victims are recovered and treated with respect. We will play our part in fulfilling this obligation. That is why, later today, I will join the Malaysian team in Kiev, where I will work with my counterpart in the Ukraine government, to support efforts to retrieve the remains, and to assist with the investigation.

I will be joined by the Director General of the Department of Civil Aviation, the Malaysian investigator in charge, and the Chairman of Malaysia Airlines. The CEO of Malaysia Airlines is already in Kiev.

ON THE FLIGHT PATH:

On the matter of MH 17’s flight path, I would like to refer to recent reported comments by officials from Eurocontrol, the body which approves European flight paths under ICAO rules.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the officials stated that some 400 commercial flights, including 150 international flights crossed eastern Ukraine daily before the crash. Officials from Eurocontrol also stated that in the two days before the incident, 75 different airlines flew the same route as MH 17.

MH 17’s flight path was a busy major airway, like a highway in the sky. It followed a route which was set out by the international aviation authorities, approved by Eurocontrol, and used by hundreds of other aircraft. It flew at an altitude set, and deemed safe, by the local air traffic control. And it never strayed into restricted airspace.

The flight and its operators followed the rules. But on the ground, the rules of war were broken. In an unacceptable act of aggression, it appears that MH 17 was shot down; its passengers and crew killed by a missile.

CONCLUDING REMARKS

This outrage cannot go unpunished. Once again, Malaysia condemns this brutal act of aggression, and calls for those responsible to be found, and to face the full force of justice without delay.

The second statement from Malaysia Airlines:

Malaysia Airlines is appealing to the family members or friends of those onboard MH 17 to contact the airline. Enclosed is the MH 17 passenger manifest for reference.

In the past 45 hours, the airline together with various foreign embassies have made every effort to establish contact with the next-of-kin but is still unable to identify many more family members.

They are advised to contact Malaysia Airlines’ Family Support Centre at +603 7884 1234 (in Malaysia).

Alternatively the family or friends may call the numbers below in their respective countries:

Netherlands (Malaysia Airlines Amsterdam office) +31 20 521 62 62

Australia (Malaysia Airlines Sydney office) +61 2 9364 3526

Indonesia (Malaysia Airlines Jakarta office) +62 2 1522 9705

New Zealand (Malaysia Airlines Auckland office) +64 9 306 3930

United Kingdom (Malaysia Airlines London office) +44 20 7341 2060

Germany (Malaysia Airlines Frankfurt office) +49 69 1387 1980

Philippines (Malaysia Airlines Manila office) + 63 2 889 1863

As of July 19, 2014, 5:00 pm, the table below shows the latest number of passengers and their nationalities:

Netherlands

193 (including 1 dual Netherlands/USA citizen)

Malaysia

43 (including 15 crew & 2 infants)

Australia

27

Indonesia

12 (including 1 infant)

United Kingdom

10 (including 1 dual UK/S. Africa citizen)

Germany

4

Belgium

4

Philippines

3

Canada

1

New Zealand

1

Total

298

Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines deployed a ferry flight last night mobilizing 212 personnel from various government and media bodies and its staff to Kiev and Amsterdam in a special mission for MH17. A total of 85 Malaysia Airlines’ ‘Go Team’ members have been deployed, of which five members will join Malaysia’s Special Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Smart) in the search-and-recovery mission at the crash site in the Donetsk region, while 80 other members comprising care givers and the management team will be stationed in Amsterdam to assist the family members of the passengers.

MH 5002 departed Kuala Lumpur at 9.30 pm on July 18, 2014 and arrived in Kiev at 2.58 am (local time) on July 19, 2014 with a two hour transit. The aircraft then continued its journey to Amsterdam at 4.50 am (local time) on July 19, 2014 and arrived in Schipol Amsterdam Airport at 5.30 am the same day.

The mission is also joined by Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport, the National Security Council, Special Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Smart), Malaysia’s Department of Information, the Royal Malaysian Police, Malaysian Special Air Service, the Royal Malaysian Air Force, Malaysian Armed Forces, Department of Civil Aviation, Chemistry Department, Department of Islamic Advancement of Malaysia and the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) team as well as participating media.

Finally, Malaysia Airlines requests the cooperation of members of the media to respect the privacy of the grieving families. The airline’s top priority remains to provide care and assistance to the families of the passengers and crew and any information with regards to their movement will not be made public.

Who are the pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine? CNN takes a look at this question: CLICK HERE

Editorial Comment:

On a side note, it was fate that selected Malaysia Airlines to be the target for the Russian-speaking separatists in eastern Ukraine. According to U.S. intelligence, the rebels used recently delivered surface-to-air Russian missiles to bring down flight MH 17. Russia will have to answer for its decision to send these dangerous weapons to the Ukraine, a former part of the Soviet Union and a sovereign nation.

Why Eurocontrol was routing civilian airliners through this known war zone is something that will also have to be answered, especially after two Ukrainian aircraft were previously shot down by the pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine.

Air India and Singapore Airlines aircraft were also in the area at the time of the shoot down and it was fate that selected the Malaysia Airlines flight over these two flights. Fate has not been kind to Malaysia Airlines this year.

Bottom line: The remains of the ill-fated passengers need to be returned to their grieving families.

Where not to fly? The Washington Post has published this map of dangerous areas where the FAA has advised U.S. carriers not to fly: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. 9M-MRD arrives in Los Angeles.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crashes in the Ukraine, all feared dead

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 17 operating from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with the pictured Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRD (msn 28411) (since repainted) with 280 passengers and 15 crew members, while operating at flight level 330 (33,000 feet) and about 50 nautical miles northwest of Donetsk, Ukraine has crashed. The airliner came down near the village of Shakhtarsk, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines has confirmed the crash.

The airline issued this statement:

Malaysia Airlines confirms it received notification from Ukrainian ATC that it had lost contact with flight MH 17 at 1415 (GMT) at 30 km from Tamak waypoint, approximately 50 km from the Russia-Ukraine border.

Flight MH 17 operated on a Boeing 777 departed Amsterdam at 12.15 pm (Amsterdam local time) and was estimated to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6.10 am (Malaysia local time) the next day.

The flight was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew members.

According to CNN:

“The aircraft was “shot down” over Ukraine by “terrorists” operating a Buk surface-to-air missile system, according to the Facebook page of Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry. There were 280 passengers killed as well as 15 crew members, Gerashchenko’s post reads.”

Read the full CNN report: CLICK HERE

Read the full updated account (with photos of the crash site) from the BBC: CLICK HERE

Read the report from the New York Times: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. 9M-MRD was once painted in this special “Blue Heliconia” livery but it has since been repainted.

Malaysia Airlines Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Bottom Copyright Photo: Olivier Gregoire/AirlinersGallery.com. 9M-MRD lands in Paris (CDG) in 2011 after repainting.

More information will be added as details are confirmed.

Video:

Video: This video appears to capture the moment of impact:

Video: The Russian surface-to-air missile that is believed to have been fired and taken down the Triple Seven. The missile was allegedly fired from a Russian separatist controlled area in eastern Ukraine:

United Airlines Boeing 777-200 diverts to Midway Island after a declared emergency

United Airlines (Chicago) flight 201 from Honolulu to Guam with 335 passengers and 13 crew members was diverted on July 10 to Midway Island because of a “mechanical issue” according to Channel 10. The Boeing 777-200 (N210UA) landed safely after the declared emergency. A replacement aircraft brought the passengers back to Honolulu on Friday morning.

According to eTurbo News, “A smoke-filled cabin, malfunctioning controls, and a loss of power forced the crew to declare an emergency, and they were able to safely land the widebody aircraft on the former military Midway Island airport at night.”

Midway Island was site of the important battle during World War II.

Read more from HNL RareBirds: CLICK HERE

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

In other news, United is reducing service to Caracas from Houston on September 15 following the actions of American and Delta as previously reported. United will reduce its daily service on the route to four flights a week. The U.S. carriers are reducing service to Venezuela as a result of the Venezuelan government strict rules of removing from the country ticket sales and denying the conversion from Bolivars to Dollars.

In further news, United is adding two routes from Guam on October 27 to both Seoul (Incheon) and Shanghai (Pudong) per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-222 ER N216UA (msn 30549) approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

United Airlines (current livery): AG Slide Show

Qatar Airways arrives in Dallas/Fort Worth

Qatar Airways Dallas Fort Worth Service

Qatar Airways (Doha) as planned, yesterday (July 1) commenced daily, nonstop services between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and the newly unveiled Hamad International Airport (HIA) in Doha, Qatar. The new route increases Qatar Airways’ extensive global network to seven gateways within the United States and 144 destinations worldwide.

Dallas/Fort Worth becomes Qatar Airways second destination in Texas, representing the airline’s enduring commitment to the region. Along with Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth will serve as a crucial junction between Qatar Airways’ global network, via Doha, and other key destinations across the Southwestern USA, including Austin, San Antonio and Oklahoma City, through our oneworld alliance partners.

The new route flies daily between Dallas/Fort Worth and Doha, departing from Doha at 8:10 am (0810) and arriving into Dallas/Fort Worth at 3:35 pm (1535) the same day. Overnight service to Doha departs Dallas/Fort Worth at 8:00 pm (2000) and lands in Doha at 6:20 pm (1820) the following day. The route is operated with a Boeing 777-200 LR configured with 217 Economy Class seats and 42 Business Class seats.

Outbound passengers to Doha will enjoy fast, convenient connections to key destinations throughout the world, including Delhi, Beijing, Tokyo, Bangkok and Perth, via the world’s newest international hub, Hamad International Airport.

Officially commencing full operations on May 1, Hamad International Airport offers state-of-the-art facilities and is capable of handling over 360,000 flights and 30 million passengers annually, with a fluid capacity of 50 million passengers after full completion.

As one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, Dallas/Fort Worth represents Qatar Airways’ tenth new destination of 2014. The airline operates one of the youngest fleets in the sky and will be adding the highly anticipated Airbus A380s and A350s in the near future.

Copyright Photo: PRNewsFoto/Qatar Airways. The traditional water cannon salute was performed on the first arriving flight at DFW.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

American Airlines Group to repaint the American and US Airways Boeing 757 fleets

American Airlines Group (American Airlines and US Airways) (Dallas/Fort Worth) has informed its employees about the repainting of the American Airlines and US Airways fleets into the 2013 American brand.

In the June 26 issue of Arrivals, the employees were briefed on the repainting process.

Highlights: As expected, the aging fleet of McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82s (MD-82s) and DC-9-83s (MD-83s) of American will not be repainted. This type is being phased out and will be gone in 2018. However the AAG has made the decision to repaint the 35 Boeing 757-200s of American and the 16 Boeing 757-200s of US Airways into the new livery. So far none have been repainted. We are likely to start seeing some soon, especially at US Airways. All will be repainted by the fourth quarter of 2016.

All of the American 777-200s have now been repainted (above).

US Airways has started repainting the Airbus A320 family aircraft: 700, 701, 702, 703, 809, 814, 819, and one other have been repainted. 579, 580, and 581 were all delivered new in American colors. The first Airbus aircraft to be repainted were the former Star Alliance liveried aircraft.

All new arrivals for both American and US Airways are of course, painted in the new American look.

We are likely to still see the American 1968 classic livery lingering on until the fourth quarter of 2017. The American Boeing 737-800s will be the last type to be fully repainted.

Here is the graph sent to the employees:

American-US Airways repainting of the fleet (LRW)

Top Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. All of the Triple Sevens have been repainted. Boeing 777-223 ER N790AN (msn 30251) arrives in New York (JFK).

American Airlines (current livery): AG Slide Show

American Airlines (historic liveries): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Video: Painting a Boeing 777:

Middle Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. American currently operates 35 Boeing 757-200s as the type is gradually being retired. Boeing 757-223 N624AA (msn 24582) of American Airlines taxies to the gate at the Miami hub painted in the classic 1968 livery.

Bottom Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. US Airways is now down to just 16 Boeing 757-200s. Boeing 757-2B7 N938UW (msn 27246) prepares to land in Stockholm (Arlanda).

Should United Airlines de-hub Washington Dulles?

United Airlines (Chicago) operates a large international and domestic hub at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). The carrier recently de-hub its mainly domestic hub at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) in an attempt to reduces its loses at CLE. United is trying to cut $2 billion in costs.

This article by Bloomberg Businessweek explores the question of whether United should de-hub Dulles as it too loses money at IAD according to Imperial Capital analyst Bob McAdoo. The Dulles hub competes to a certain degree with its larger (former Continental) hub at Newark International Airport near New York. Ironically United built up the Dulles hub as a competitive move against the Continental hub at Newark and US Airways’ hub at Philadelphia.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-222 N779UA (msn 26941) climbs away from the runway at Washington Dulles International Airport.

United Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

The ATSB announces a new search area for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370

ATSB 6.26.14 Search Map for MH 370

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) today issued this summary and report announcing a new search area for Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH 370 operated with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420). Here is the summary (full report link at the bottom):

On March 8, 2014, flight MH 370, a Boeing 777-200 ER registered 9M-MRO, lost contact with Air Traffic Control during a transition of airspace between Malaysia and Vietnam. An analysis of radar data and subsequent satellite communication (SATCOM) system signalling messages placed the aircraft in the Australian search and rescue zone on an arc in the southern part of the Indian Ocean. This arc was considered to be the location where the aircraft’s fuel was exhausted.

A surface search of probable impact areas along this arc, coordinated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, was carried out from 18 March – April 28, 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. The location of the search areas was guided by continuing and innovative analysis by a Joint Investigation Team of the flight and satellite-communications data. This analysis was supplemented by other information provided to ATSB during this period. This included possible underwater locator beacon and hydrophone acoustic detections.

No debris associated with 9M-MRO was identified either from the surface search, acoustic search or from the ocean floor search in the vicinity of the acoustic detections. The ocean floor search was completed on May 28, 2014.

Refinements to the analysis of both the flight and satellite data have been continuous since the loss of MH 370. The analysis has been undertaken by an international team of specialists from the UK, US and Australia working both independently and collaboratively. Other information regarding the performance and operation of the aircraft has also been taken into consideration in the analysis.

Using current analyses, the team has been able to reach a consensus in identifying a priority underwater search area for the next phase of the search.

The priority area of approximately 60,000 km2 extends along the arc for 650 km in a northeast direction from Broken Ridge. The width of the priority search area is 93 km. This area was the subject of the surface search from Day 21-26.

Work is continuing with refinements in the analysis of the satellite communications data. Small frequency variations can significantly affect the derived flight path. This ongoing work may result in changes to the prioritisation and locale of search activity.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

The “7th Arc”

You will hear a lot about this term in the coming days. Here is the explanation:

The latest information and analysis confirms that MH 370 will be found in close proximity to the arc set out in the map and labelled as the 7th arc. At the time MH 370 reached this arc, the aircraft is considered to have exhausted its fuel and to have been descending. As a result, the aircraft is unlikely to be more than 20 NM (38 km) to the west or 30 NM (55 km) to the east of the arc.

Based on all the independent analysis of satellite communications and aircraft performance, the total extent of the 7th arc reaches from latitude 20 degrees S to 39 degrees S.

Refinement of the analysis in the coming weeks will reduce the underwater Search Area along this arc to a prioritised 17,500 sq. NM (60,000 sq. km). The prioritised length of the Search Area along the arc is expected to be 350 NM (650 km).
More information about the Search Area will be made available as soon as it is verified.

Map of the “7th Arc”:

ATSB 7th Arc Map

 

NTSB: “Asiana flight 214 crashed when the airplane descended below the visual glidepath due to the flight crew’s mismanagement of the approach and inadequate monitoring of airspeed.”

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) (Washington) yesterday (June 24) issued its probable cause and report on the July 6, 2013 crash of Asiana Airlines (Seoul) flight 214 with the pictured Boeing 777-28E ER HL7742 (msn 29171) at San Francisco. Here is the full statement and link:

In a Board meeting held on June 24, 2014, the National Transportation Safety Board determined that Asiana flight 214 crashed when the airplane descended below the visual glidepath due to the flight crew’s mismanagement of the approach and inadequate monitoring of airspeed. The Board also found that the complexities of the auto throttle and autopilot flight director systems, and the crew’s misunderstanding of those systems, contributed to the accident.

On July 6, 2013, about 11:28 a.m. (PDT), the Boeing 777 was on approach to runway 28L at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, California when it struck the seawall at the end of the runway. Three of the 291 passengers died; 40 passengers, eight of the 12 flight attendants, and one of the four flight crewmembers received serious injuries. The other 248 passengers, four flight attendants, and three flight crewmembers received minor injuries or were not injured. The impact forces and a postcrash fire destroyed the airplane.

The NTSB determined that the flight crew mismanaged the initial approach and that the airplane was well above the desired glidepath as it neared the runway. In response to the excessive altitude, the captain selected an inappropriate autopilot mode and took other actions that, unbeknownst to him, resulted in the autothrottle no longer controlling airspeed.

As the airplane descended below the desired glidepath, the crew did not notice the decreasing airspeed nor did they respond to the unstable approach. The flight crew began a go-around maneuver when the airplane was below 100 feet, but it was too late and the airplane struck the seawall.

“In this accident, the flight crew over-relied on automated systems without fully understanding how they interacted,” said NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart. “Automation has made aviation safer. But even in highly automated aircraft, the human must be the boss.”

As a result of this accident investigation, the NTSB made recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration, Asiana Airlines, The Boeing Company, the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Working Group, and the City of San Francisco.

These recommendations address the safety issues identified in the investigation, including the need for reinforced adherence to Asiana flight crew standard operating procedures, more opportunities for manual flying for Asiana pilots, a context-dependent low energy alerting system, and both certification design review and enhanced training on the Boeing 777 autoflight system.

The recommendations also address the need for improved emergency communications, and staffing requirements and training for aircraft rescue and firefighting personnel.

“Today, good piloting includes being on the lookout for surprises in how the automation works, and taking control when needed,” Hart said. “Good design means not only maximizing reliability, but also minimizing surprises and uncertainties.”

A synopsis of the NTSB report, including the probable cause, findings, and a complete list of the 27 safety recommendations, is available at http://www.ntsb.gov/news/events/2014/asiana214/abstract.html. The full report will be available on the website in several weeks.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-28E ER HL7742 is pictured on approach at Los Angeles International Airport before the accident at SFO.

Asiana Airlines: AG Slide Show

The search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 is likely to move south

ATSB logo

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 of March 8 with 239 passengers and crew members on board remains missing. The next phase of the search is likely to move the search area several hundred miles to the south in the southern Indian Ocean.

The Associated Press first reported this change, citing Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).

The Bluefin-21 will be redeployed in this new area. The exact new area is still being determined.

On May 26 Martin Dolan issued this statement about the search:

By Martin Dolan, Chief Commissioner

It’s now been more than 11 weeks since Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 disappeared from air traffic control radar after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on a scheduled passenger service to Beijing.

Despite one of the most intensive and coordinated air and sea search efforts ever undertaken, there has not yet been any sign of the missing aircraft.

The complexities surrounding the search cannot be understated. It involves vast areas of the Indian Ocean with only limited known data and aircraft flight information. While it is impossible to determine with certainty where the aircraft may have entered the water, all the available data indicates a highly probable search area close to a long but narrow arc of the southern Indian Ocean.

It is now highly unlikely that surface debris from the aircraft will be spotted. This means that the most effective way to continue the search is to look for MH370 under the water.

The search will be a major undertaking.

The complexities and challenges involved are immense, but not impossible.

Following an announcement by the Prime Minister of Australia in late April, and at the request of the Malaysian government, the ATSB is planning an intensified underwater search of a 60,000 square kilometre area—roughly the size of Tasmania.

As part of its search operations, the ATSB’s initial work involves:

reviewing existing information, from an expert satellite working group, to refine a search zone of up to 60,000 square kilometres in the southern Indian Ocean
conducting a bathymetric survey to map the search area
consulting with domestic and international authorities—including various oceanographic institutions and private companies—to prepare the plan and specialist services required for the next search phase.
The bathymetric survey— or mapping of the ocean floor— has already commenced, with the Chinese survey ship Zhu Kezhen conducting a survey of the areas provided by the ATSB. Zhu Kezhen will shortly be joined by a contracted commercial survey vessel in June. Taking around three months to complete, the bathymetric survey will give us crucial knowledge of the seafloor terrain needed to begin the underwater search.

The intensified underwater search will aim to locate the aircraft and any evidence (such as aircraft debris and flight recorders) to assist with the Malaysian investigation. The equipment used for the search will likely include a towed sonar, an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle with mounted sonar, and optical imaging equipment. We expect the search to begin in several months and take up to 12 months to complete.

The search will be a major undertaking. The complexities and challenges involved are immense, but not impossible. The best minds from around the world have been reviewing, refining and localising the most likely area where the aircraft entered the water, which is why we remain confident of finding the aircraft.

On May 26 the ATSB issued this detailed statement on the considerations of where it will search for MH 370:

Background

At the request of the Malaysian Government, Australia is leading the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 in the Indian Ocean. The search is a complex operation that involves vast areas with only limited data and aircraft flight information available.

Over-water searches

Over-water aircraft accident locations are usually found by conducting a broad-area aerial search. The search area is generally determined by a combination of:
Position information from ground-based radar systems (maximum range is generally 250 NM)
Position information automatically transmitted from the aircraft at regular intervals

Position reports from the crew

Re-tracing the planned flight route

Eye-witness reports (possibly located on the shore, on other aircraft or on ships)

Uncertainty in the position of an accident location increases with time from the aircraft’s last known position (fix) so the search area will expand accordingly as the position data becomes ‘stale’.

Once floating wreckage is observed, reverse-drift techniques can be used to help determine the aircraft impact location. Only a small-area underwater search is then required to locate the wreckage and map the wreckage field. This underwater search can be aided by the underwater locator beacons fitted to flight recorders. As the beacons have a limited duration of nominally 30 days and to minimise the inaccuracies of the reverse-drift calculations, it is important that an aerial search is commenced as soon as possible and the floating debris is found quickly.

In the case of MH 370:

The aircraft departed Kuala Lumpur at 1641 UTC
The final automatically transmitted position from the aircraft occurred at 17:07 UTC
No radio communications were received from the crew after 17:19 UTC
The final ATC (secondary) radar fix occurred at 17:22 UTC
At 17:25 UTC the aircraft deviated from the planned flight route
The final primary radar fix occurred at 18:22 UTC
The satellite communications log indicated the aircraft continued to fly for another 6 hours
No confirmed eye-witness reports were received
The search in the Australian search and rescue zone commenced on 18 March (10 days after the aircraft went missing)

As a result, the search area for MH 370 has remained very large. A useful comparison is the search for Air France Flight 447 (AF 477), which crashed in the Atlantic Ocean on 1 June 2009. The AF447 aircraft was programmed to send its position automatically every 10 minutes, there were a number of fault messages transmitted via satellite during the last few minutes of flight and it was following the planned flight route. The search for the aircraft began on 1 June and the first surface wreckage was discovered on 6 June, 5 days after the accident. Given the relative accuracy of the aircraft’s last known position, a circular search area of 40 NM was defined (17,240 km²). After a search effort involving five separate phases, the aircraft wreckage was located on the ocean floor almost two years later.

As none of the traditional sources of data could be used to locate the aircraft wreckage from MH 370, it has been necessary to use novel sources of data and analysis techniques. This has led to a larger than typical search area; and there have been changes to its location as validation and calibration checks have been performed and the analysis is refined.

Determining the search area for MH 370

The flight path of MH 370 has three distinct sections; one under secondary radar in which the aircraft transponder was operational and ACARS messages were being transmitted, a primary radar section during which the aircraft was being tracked solely by air defence radar systems and the final stage for which the only information available was the satellite communications log data.

ACARS and radar data

The final ACARS transmission was at 17:07 UTC and provided location reports from the initial stage of the flight as well as a recording of the aircraft fuel remaining. The final secondary radar point was at approximately 17:22 UTC. The final primary radar point was at 18:22 UTC. Figure 1 shows the first and second sections of the flight.

Figure 1: MH 370 Flight path derived from Primary and Secondary radar data:

MH 370 Figure 1

Source: NTSB/Google

Satellite communications (SATCOM) data

Following the loss of primary radar, the only available information was from satellite signalling messages, also referred to as ‘handshakes’, between the ground station, the satellite and the aircraft’s satellite communication system.

For each transmission to the aircraft, the ground station recorded the burst timing offset (BTO) and the burst frequency offset (BFO).

Figure 2: Satellite communications schematic:

MH 370 Figure 2

Source: Inmarsat

Burst Timing Offset (BTO)

The BTO is a measure of the time taken for a transmission round trip (ground station to satellite to aircraft and back) and allows a calculation of the distance between the satellite and the aircraft. Based on this measure, a possible location ring can be mapped on the surface of the earth (Figure 3). An analysis of SATCOM system parameters showed that the accuracy of the rings was ± 10 km. This analysis was validated using recorded BTO values from the initial stage of the flight when the aircraft’s position was known.

Figure 3: Satellite ring derivation:

MH 370 Figure 3

Source: Inmarsat

There were 7 handshakes between the ground station and the aircraft after the loss of primary radar data. The location rings calculated from the recorded BTO values are shown in figure 4.

Figure 4: MH 370 timing (UTC) with corresponding rings arrowed:

MH 370 Figure 4

Source: Inmarsat/Boeing /Google

The information from the BTO places the aircraft somewhere on each ring at the corresponding time. By taking the maximum speed of the aircraft into account, the rings can be reduced in length to arcs – there are some areas of the rings it simply could not have reached.

Burst Frequency Offset (BFO)

The BFO is the measure of the difference between the expected frequency of the transmission and the frequency received at the ground station. This difference is attributed to various sources including the Doppler Effect from the motion of the satellite and the aircraft, as well as some processing effects. Once the known components that contribute to the BFO are resolved, the remainder can be used to estimate the speed and direction of the aircraft. There are a large number of speeds and headings that can be consistent with a BFO recording. These are limited, however, by the operational constraints of the aircraft.

Candidate paths of different speeds were created which met the BTO ring location/time constraints and the predicted BFO values of these paths have been compared with the recorded values. The better the match, the higher the probability that the path was close to that of MH370.
Final handshake message at 00:19 (7th arc)

The 00:19 signalling message (7th arc) was a logon request from the aircraft. This is consistent with the satellite communication equipment on the aircraft powering up following a power interruption. The interruption in electrical supply may have been caused by fuel exhaustion.

Note on the satellite communication

The satellite’s normal function is essentially communication and it was never initially intended to have the capability to track an aircraft. Following the Air France 447 accident, Inmarsat engineers began recording the BTO in order to provide another potential means of geo-locating aircraft in the event of a similar accident.

Aircraft Performance Calculations

Estimates of fuel consumption were calculated from the time of the last recorded fuel quantity, using a range of flight paths and speeds. The results of these calculations were consistent with fuel exhaustion occurring close to the 7th arc.

Validation

Several teams independently provided both satellite communications and performance analysis as part of the validation process. The location of 9M-MRO on previous flights as well as the locations of other aircraft in the air at the same time were all used to validate the techniques.

Other information

Surface search

An international air and maritime force conducted a surface search of drifted regions along the 7th arc from 18 March to 28 April 2014. A drifted region is created by modelling the movement of an area of water over the time period when the surface search is conducted. During this time, no debris was identified to be likely from MH 370.

Underwater search

Acoustic detections possibly related to underwater locator beacons were made by two vessels in the refined probability area from 5 – 8 April 2014. To further investigate these signals, a search of the ocean floor around the detections was performed by a number of vessels. To date no further sign of MH370 has been detected.

Hydrophones

Low frequency hydroacoustic signals present in the Indian Ocean are being examined to determine whether they can provide any information to help define the search area. These signals are recorded by hydrophones as part of the United Nations Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) or the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS).

Use of waypoints

Comparison of possible flight paths with tracks using waypoints is also under consideration.

Air Routes

There is only one published north-south air route in the south-eastern Indian Ocean. Air route M641 connects Cocos Island to Perth and has four waypoints. The air route crosses the area where the four acoustic signals were detected.

Shape of the search area

At the time MH 370 reached the 7th arc, the aircraft is considered to have been descending. A study completed after the Air France 447 accident concluded that the majority of aircraft in loss of control accidents were found within 20 nautical miles (32 km) of their last known position. This provides a reasonable limitation for the size of the search area across the arc.

Additionally the Australian government through the ATSB on May 26 explained how it is searching for missing flight MH 370:

Background

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is leading the underwater search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370. All the available data indicates the aircraft entered the sea close to a long but narrow arc of the southern Indian Ocean.

The search is a complex operation that will involve a range of vessels, equipment and expertise to cover 60,000 square kilometres of ocean floor.

Bathymetric survey

During the first stage of the search, the ATSB is tasking a Chinese PLA-Navy ship to undertake a bathymetric survey of the 60,000 square kilometre search area. A contracted commercial vessel with join the survey in June. The bathymetric survey will provide a map of the underwater search zone, charting the contours, depths and hardness of the ocean floor.

While the ocean depth of the search zone is understood to be between 1000 m and 6000 m, we currently have very limited knowledge of the sea floor terrain facing the underwater search operation. The information we receive from the bathymetric survey will give us crucial data to plan and conduct the intensified underwater search.

How the survey’s done

The operation will involve a ship surveying the ocean floor using multi beam sonar, which is capable of collecting high quality data to water depths of up to 6,000 m.

Multibeam sonar is a common offshore surveying tool that uses multiple sound signals to detect the seafloor. Due to its multiple beams it is able to map a swath of the seabed under the ship, in contrast to a single beam sonar which only maps a point below the ship. Different frequencies are used to map different water depths, with higher frequencies (>100kHz) used for shallow water and low frequencies (<30 kHz) for deep water.

Generally, the multibeam sonar transducer is mounted rigidly to the hull of the survey vessel and its position can be calculated very accurately. Other parts of the multibeam system include auxiliary sensors such as motion-sensing systems and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to ensure accurate positioning, motion sensing and sound speed measurement system.

A modern multibeam sonar transducer typically uses the Mills Cross telescope array. The sound is transmitted from transducers that are perpendicular to the survey track. Consequently, the sound pulses forms a transmit swath that is wide across-track and narrow along-track. The returning sound pulses, which are mainly recording the impedance contrast and seafloor topography, are received by the receivers which are mounted parallel to the survey track. These return beams are narrow across-track.

Unlike the sidescan sonar which commonly produces only acoustic backscatter data (i.e. hardness), the multibeam sonar generates both water depth and seafloor hardness data concurrently.1
How many vessels will be involved in the survey

The Chinese PLA-Navy ship Zhu Kezhen (872) is already in the search area conducting a bathymetric survey of an area provided by the ATSB. A contracted survey vessel will arrive in the search area in early June.

How long it will take?

It is expected that the bathymetric survey will take around three months to complete, but this will depend on a number of factors, such as weather conditions, during the survey operations.
The underwater search will begin when we have enough data from the bathymetric survey to start searching. This means that the underwater search will begin while the survey is still being completed.

On June 4 the ATSB issued a request for specialist help in determining the new search area (all proposals are due by June 30):

The ATSB has released a request for tender to acquire the services of a specialist company capable of conducting a deep-water search under ATSB direction for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370.
Engaged as a prime contractor, the company will provide the expertise, equipment and vessel(s) necessary to undertake an intensified underwater search for the missing Boeing 777 aircraft in the defined zone in the southern Indian Ocean.

While the precise search zone is currently being established by an international search strategy working group, it is expected that the successful tenderer will search an area up to 60,000 square kilometres based on the ‘seventh handshake’ arc where the aircraft last communicated with the Inmarsat satellite. Definition of the search zone will be finalised within two to three weeks.

The successful tenderer will localise, positively identify and map the debris field of MH 370 using specialist equipment such as towed and autonomous underwater vehicles with mounted sonar and/or optical imaging systems.

The intensified search will begin in August 2014 and is expected to take up to 12 months, depending on weather conditions. The successful tenderer will use the data from a bathymetric survey (already underway) to navigate the search zone, which has water depth between 1000 and 6000 metres.

The search vessel(s) used by the prime contractor may also be coordinated with other vessels also undertaking search activities in the search zone on behalf of other countries.

A copy of the request for tender is available on the AusTender website at http://www.tenders.gov.au. Request for tender submissions are due by 5.30pm AEST on June 30, 2014.

At the request of the Malaysian Government, the ATSB is leading the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

Search for MH 370 Facts and Statistics:

Joint Agency Coordination Centre of Australia has issued these statistics on the search for MH 370:

Search for MH 370 facts and statistics

  •   Prime Minister Tony Abbott advised of the establishment of the JACC on 30 March 2014, headed by Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston AC AFC (Ret’d).
  •   Malaysia has lead investigative responsibility and the international accident crash investigation is based out of Kuala Lumpur.
  •   Malaysia, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, New Zealand and Australia were all involved in the visual search.
  •   Over 4,600,000 square kilometres of ocean surface were searched.
  •   345 search sorties were conducted by military aircraft for a total of over 2,998 hours.
  •   Over 30% of the military flights were made by Royal Australian Air Force planes.
  •   Aircraft that were involved in the visual search included:
    • -  8 x Royal Australian Air Force ( 4 x AP-3C Orion, 2 x E-7A Wedgetail, 1 x KA350 King Air, 1 x C-130J Hercules)
    • -  1 x Royal New Zealand Air Force (P-3K2 Orion)
    • -  2 X United States Navy (P-8A Poseidon)
    • -  2 x Peoples Liberation Army Air Force (IL – 76)
    • -  3 x Japan (2 x Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force P-3C Orion and 1 x Japanese Coast GuardGulfstream V)
    • -  2 x Republic of Korea (1 x ROK Navy P-3C Orion & 1 x ROK Air Force C-130H)
    • -  3 x Royal Malaysian Air Force (3 x C-130H Hercules)
  •   Over 25 million litres of aviation fuel was used during the course of the visual search.
  •   Up to 19 ships were used to cover the search area.
    • -  5 x Australian ships (1 x Replenishment Ship – HMAS Success, 1 x Frigate – HMAS Toowoomba including 1 x Seahawk Helicopter, 1 x Frigate – HMAS Perth, 1 x Australian Defence Vessel – Ocean Shield, 1 x Motor Vessel – Seahorse Standard)
    • -  1 x USA ship (1 x Replenishment Ship – USNS Cesar Chavez)
    • -  2 x UK ships (1 x Survey Ship – HMS Echo and 1 x Submarine – HMS Tireless)
    • -  10 x Chinese ships (1 x Destroyer – Haikou, 2 x Amphibious Landing Dock – Kunlunshan & Jinggangshan, 1 x Coast Guard Vessel – Haixun 01, 2 x Ocean going Rescue Vessel – Donghaijui 101 & Nan Hai Jiu 101, 1 x Ocean going Rescue Vessel – Ben Hai Jiu III Wars 115, 1 x Replenishment Ship – Quindao Hu, 1 x Ice Breaker – MV Xue Long including Chinese Helicopter 7102, 1 x Survey Ship – Zhu Kezhen)
    • -  2 x Malaysian ships (1 x Frigate – Lekiu 30, 1 x Replenishment Ship – Bunga Mas Enam BM-6)
  •   Bluefin-21 conducted a sub-surface search of over 850 square kilometres of the ocean floor.

 

FedEx Corporation reports fiscal year net income of $1.56 billion

FedEx Corporation (FedEx Express) (Memphis) reported earnings of $2.46 per diluted share for the fourth quarter ended May 31. Last year’s fourth quarter earnings were $2.13 per diluted share, excluding a $0.98 per diluted share business realignment program charge and a $0.20 per diluted share noncash aircraft impairment charge at FedEx Express. Including last year’s charges, earnings were $0.95 per diluted share.

“An outstanding fourth quarter helped FedEx post solid results for fiscal 2014, and we believe we are well positioned for a strong fiscal 2015,” said Frederick W. Smith, FedEx Corp. chairman, president and chief executive officer. “I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the entire FedEx team for their contribution to our results and their continued commitment to providing outstanding service to our customers and connecting people and possibilities around the world.”

For its entire fiscal year the cooperation reported net income (GAAP) of $1.56 billion.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-FS2 N857FD (msn 37728) climbs into the sky at Anchorage International Airport (ANC).

FedEx Express: AG Slide Show

Qatar Airways arrives in Miami

Qatar Airways Miami Debut

Qatar Airways‘ (Doha) inaugural flight to Miami International Airport (MIA) touched down yesterday afternoon (June 10), commencing service to the airline’s sixth US gateway.

The service marked its 142nd destination worldwide from the central hub in Doha, Qatar.

With this new route, Qatar Airways is the only airline to offer nonstop service between the Middle East and Miami, Florida.

The launch continues a major expansion by the airline into the United States. Nonstop service to Philadelphia International Airport began in April, and the airline will commence flights to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in July.

With Doha’s centralized location, travelers from Miami can reach cities such as Bangkok, Nairobi, Colombo, and Mumbai in an impressive 23 hours or less through a quick transfer in Doha.

The airline recently moved its entire operations to the State of Qatar’s new airport – Hamad International, 60 percent of which is built on reclaimed land.

Qatar Airways’ Doha to Miami route is being operated with a Boeing 777-200 in a two-class configuration of 42 seats in Business and 217 seats in Economy. The aircraft offers seatback TV screens providing passengers with the next generation interactive onboard entertainment system and a choice of more than 1,000 audio and video options.

Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 17 years of operations and is currently flying a modern fleet of 134 aircraft to more than 140 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

Miami joins the airline’s existing Americas destinations: Chicago, Houston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Montreal, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires. Qatar Airways is set to launch services to a diverse portfolio of new routes during the coming months, including Tokyo Haneda, Japan (June 18), Dallas/Fort Worth, USA (July 1) and Djibouti (July 27).

Copyright Photo: Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Australia to contract out the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370

Malaysia logo-1

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 is entering a new phase in the search for the missing Boeing 777-200. So far, no debris has been found from the missing Triple Seven. All 239 passengers and crew members on board Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) remain missing.

According to CNN, “Australia, the closest country to the area where the plane is believed to have entered the ocean, has decided to delegate the management and operation of the new phase to a private company.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which is leading the search at the request of the Malaysian government, said Wednesday it is accepting proposals for the task until the end of June. The new search is expected to start in August, at the earliest.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile, Y.B. Dato Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport of Malaysia, today issued this statement:

Introductory Statement

It has been 89 days since MH 370 went missing. We have entered a new difficult phase which brings with it new challenges which we will overcome together. Today, I met up with the 4 Ministerial Committees and we discussed on our way forward in the search for MH 370.

Let me begin by stating that the ASEAN Member States have publicly acknowledged in April their solidarity as reflected by the concerted efforts in the search mission of the missing MH370. They also recognised the unwavering support from all Member States in this new phase of this unprecedented search. This was again emphasised at the 8th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting held in Nay Pyi Taw on May 20, 2014.

We also have a firm commitment, formalised by our Tripartite Agreement on the 5th of May 2014, between Malaysia, Australia and China that the search needs to be a continuous and intensified effort.

In the Joint Communique between the People’s Republic of China and Malaysia in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, China and Malaysia have also agreed to work closely together in the next phase of the search operation for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean. This Joint Communique was signed and agreed upon on the 31st of May by both the Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak and the Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Premier Li Keqiang.

The Defence Ministers of the Five Power Defence Arrangement have also reaffirmed their continued support for the search mission of MH 370.

As we enter the new phase of this search, we are grateful for the continuous support that we have received from the international community.

Next Of Kin Committee

With regards to the next of kin, we will continue to engage with the families of those on board MH 370 by providing them with timely updates on the search operation. This initiative has been led by Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun. We appeal to all parties to be understanding during this extraordinary and difficult time.

My pledge to all the families, wherever they are, is the same: we will do everything in our power to keep you informed. We also appreciate all that has been done by the Chinese Government on this matter.

Technical Committee

Preparations are well underway for the next phase of the search operations which includes the refinement of the search area. A team of experts set up and led by the Australian authorities in Canberra are currently conducting the re-analysis together with Inmarsat. This team has given me the assurance that the search area remains in the arc of the Southern Corridor.

Asset Deployment Committee

On the asset deployment front, we have been in discussions with several Malaysian companies to deploy highly specialised underwater systems and platforms including the Autonomous Unmanned Vehicles (AUVs), Deep-water towed side scan sonars, Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), and support vessels to deploy these assets to join in the new phase of this search mission.

On that note, I am pleased to announce that PETRONAS has agreed to deploy assets under the Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) approach where Malaysian companies are part of the resources to fund the search operations.

PETRONAS will contribute by providing funds for a Deep Towed Side Scan Sonar. A complete system will accompany the asset with a dedicated support vessel complete with crew members.

Boustead is finalising terms for specialised assets and services to be deployed which will include an Oceanographic Survey Vessel with bathymetric survey capabilities, a Deep Towed Side Scan Sonar for deep sea search and a ROV for recovery purposes.

I also had the opportunity to meet with Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defence for the United States of America during the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore last weekend. I have officially requested for the US to continue its lease for the Bluefin-21 AUV, to provide the Orion Deep Towed Side Scan Sonar and the Curv-21 ROV.

In addition, the Chinese survey ship, Zhu Kezhen, has covered 4,088 km2 as part of the bathymetric survey process.

It is important for all the Malaysian entities involved in this effort to be on the same page- working as one team, flying the Malaysian flag to find MH 370.

Communication, Coordination And Media Committee

On that note, the previously announced Communication, Coordination and Media Committee will be liaising with our Australian and Chinese counterparts. Jailani Johari, the Deputy Minister for Communications and Multimedia, will lead this team, consisting of members from all 4 ministerial committees along with the Director General of the Department of Civil Aviation, the Deputy Chief of the Royal Malaysian Navy and Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, to Canberra first to acquire the latest updates on the search operation and will then travel to Beijing.

Indeed, this will further strengthen our Tripartite Agreement between Malaysia, Australia and China that the search needs to be a continuous and intensified effort.

Concluding Remarks

Let me stress that the search has not stopped and we will keep searching for the plane for as long as it takes. I would like to conclude by stressing that we will continue with the search operations until we have fully covered the search area. We will strive to explore all possible options in finding MH 370

The search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 may be put on hold until August

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370, the greatest aviation mystery, may be entering a new phase in the search. So far the search has resulted in nothing being found. According to CNN, the search for the pictured Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) and the 239 passengers and crew members may not resume until August.

According to CNN:

“The underwater search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane will effectively be put on hold this week, and may not resume until August at the very earliest, according to Australia’s top transport safety official.

The new timeline means that once Bluefin-21, the American underwater drone operated by a team on board the Australian Defense Vessel Ocean Shield, wraps up its work in a couple of days, it will be up to two months, if not longer, until new underwater vehicles are contracted and deployed in the hunt for MH 370.”

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Is Inmarsat correct in its assumptions of where WH 370 went down? CNN explores this question: CLICK HERE

On May 20 Malaysia Airlines issued this statement:

Following the announcement by the Malaysian Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport on May 19, 2014, the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) is pleased to provide further information on the discussion with Inmarsat, assisted by the AAIB, to get a common descriptor for the Inmarsat satellite data which had been provided to Malaysia Airlines when MH 370 first went missing.

It must be noted that previously where reference has been made to “data communication logs” and “raw data”- they refer to the same set of data.

In moving forward, it is imperative for us to provide helpful information to the next of kin and general public – which will include the data communication logs as well as relevant explanation to enable the reader to understand the data provided. It must also be noted that the data communication logs is just one of the many elements of the investigation information.

In line with our commitment towards greater transparency, all parties are working for the release of the data communication logs and the technical description of the analysis for public consumption.

DCA notes Inmarsat’s full support for the ongoing MH 370 investigation.”

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Austrian Airlines wants labor peace, proposes a new collective agreement offer, opens up the possibility of merging Austrian with subsidiary Tyrolean Airways

Austrian Airlines (Vienna) and its subsidiary Tyrolean Airways (Innsbruck) have presented to its employees a “framework plan for a collective wage agreement applying to flight personnel throughout the entire Austrian Airlines Group. Following the failed negotiations in 2012, the entire flight operations of Austrian Airlines were transferred to its subsidiary Tyrolean Airways, encompassing about 1,900 employees and all the aircraft. Now the company is making employees a new offer i.e. a new Austrian Airlines Group collective wage agreement as a means of increasing planning certainty and creating the basis for future decisions. Negotiations designed to work out specific details should be concluded by May 31, 2014. This collective wage agreement opens up the possibility to merge Tyrolean Airways and Austrian Airlines in the future.”

The company continued:

“The contents of the offer are based on ten months of joint negotiations with the Works Council, trade union and Austrian Federal Economic Chamber. The new agreement acts as a bridgehead from the past aiming to lead Austrian Airlines into the future. Our employees wish for an agreement and a clear perspective moving forward. They also desire to return to Austrian Airlines. We want to make this possible”, says Austrian Airlines CEO Jaan Albrecht.

The cornerstones of the new Group collective wage agreement:

The cornerstones of the new Group collective wage agreement are new flight duty rules, a new salary scale, a profit sharing scheme based on the net profit, a revised pension fund model as well as a new career model for the cabin and cockpit staff.

The current flight duty rules are based on the former collective bargaining agreement applying to Tyrolean Airlines. The new stipulations more effectively takes into consideration the demands involved in operating a long-haul fleet. In contrast to the rejected negotiated settlement concluded in 2012, the salaries of the senior staff members formerly with Austrian Airlines will not be reduced but will stay frozen at their current status until the new salary scale catches up to this level. A profit sharing scheme for employees based on the company’s net profit is also a new component of the agreement. Austrian Airlines has been operating profitably again since 2013 and will enable its employees to participate in its business success.

Another key feature of the new collective wage agreement is a revised pension fund model. Partial payments will be offered to those employees who were previously covered by the Austrian Airlines company pension plan. Depending on the length of service and the respective position, this ranges from about EUR 15,000 for flight attendants to EUR 305,000 for flight captains. A new career model for the cabin crew and cockpit staff, which also facilitates the transfer between the various staff groups, is also part of the offering.

“The most difficult task was developing a new career model. Other airlines have failed precisely for this reason”, states Klaus Froese, Managing Director of Tyrolean Airways. “The centerpiece of our model is a transparent and fair allocation formula for pilots of the regional fleet and pilots of larger types of aircraft to be appointed to vacant plane captain jobs”, he adds.

Stability and planning certainty for employees and the company:

“We want to offer our employees an improved basis for their own personal career planning. I believe that this package of measures provides a good opportunity for this. Today I have asked the employees to authorize their representatives to carry out negotiations on this”, Froese continues.

Last week the negotiating team presented the principal features of the new collective wage agreement to the Works Council for flight and cabin crew (Betriebsrat Bord) of Tyrolean Airways, the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and the trade union. Now negotiations are to be conducted on specific details of the agreement provided that the Works Council is willing to do so. “I think that we have reached a balanced agreement as the basis for negotiations. Now it is all about getting down to specifics”, Froese says. “However, we have to come to a conclusion after ten months of negotiations. The employees want a solution to be reached, and the company must be able to plan ahead.”

If an agreement can be reached with the Works Council, this would mean much more to the employees than just working in accordance with a collective wage agreement. A collective agreement for the entire Austrian Airlines Group would serve as the basis for a merger of Tyrolean Airways and Austrian Airlines. For the customers, the bottom line is that there would only be one brand. “Flown by Austrian, operated by Austrian“, is the way Froese describes it.

Basis for development of the fleet:

“The restructuring measures implemented over the past few years have put Austrian Airlines in a better financial position. We are once again operating profitably and want to take the next steps into the future. We have Lufthansa’s support for this”, explains Austrian Airlines CEO Jaan Albrecht.

“This year Austrian Airlines will make a forward-looking decision and move ahead with ordering a successor model to its fleet of Fokker aircraft. However, such a significant investment decision cannot be made without a consensus being reached on a collective wage agreement”, Albrecht continues.

At the present time the Austrian Airlines Group has a work force of about 6,300 employees, of which about 3,100 employees comprise the cockpit and cabin staff. A new collective agreement with the ground staff was concluded last year with the help of the trade union and the Works Council.

 

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Tyrolean Airways now operates all Austrian Airlines-titled aircraft except one Boeing 777-200 which Austrian officially maintains on its AOC to keep it active. It is very challenging for both Austrian Airlines and its employees to operate an international airline on a regional airline contract. Operated by Tyrolean Airways-employed flight crews, Boeing 777-2B8 ER OE-LPD (msn 35960) completes its final approach to the runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York.

Austrian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Scoot to receive its first Boeing 787 in November

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Scoot (Singapore) have announced a five-year pilot training agreement to support the airline’s fleet transition to 787-9 Dreamliners.

Under the agreement, Boeing Flight Services, a business unit of Boeing Commercial Aviation Services, will provide 787 flight training to Scoot pilots at Boeing’s Singapore training campus. In 2014 alone, an anticipated 32 Scoot pilots will undergo training.

The 2013 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook, a respected industry forecast of personnel demand, projects a requirement for 498,000 new commercial airline pilots and 556,000 new maintenance technicians to fly and maintain the new airplanes entering the world fleet over the next 20 years. In Southeast Asia, 51,500 pilots and 64,700 technicians are needed to fill the gap.

Scoot will acquire 20 Boeing 787-9s beginning in November 2014. A second 787 is due ar the end of February 2015. The airplanes were originally ordered by parent company Singapore Airlines. Scoot currently operates Boeing 777-200s on medium and long haul low-cost flights between Singapore and Sydney, Gold Coast, Bangkok, Taipei, Tokyo, Tianjin, Shenyang, Nanjing, Qingdao, Seoul, Perth and Hong Kong.

Scoot is expected to introduce the new type in December on its routes.

Copyright Photo: Nik French/AirlinersGallery.com. Eventually Scoot will become an all 787 operator (following Norwegian Long Haul) and the pictured Boeing 777-200 ERs will be phased out. Former Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-212 ER 9V-OTA (msn 28507) arrives at Tokyo (Narita).

Scoot: AG Slide Show

In the meantime, Scoot is running a contest (now extended) to name the first Boeing 787 (below).

Scoot Name our 787 Contest (Scoot)

 

United to launch San Francisco-Tokyo Haneda flights on October 26

United Airlines’ (Chicago) application to serve Tokyo’s downtown Haneda Airport from its San Francisco hub has received final approval from the Department of Transportation (DOT), beating out Hawaiian Airlines. United will launch the new route on October 26 with Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

According to DOT, “under a U.S.-Japan agreement, U.S. airlines may operate a total of four daily round-trip flights per day at Haneda Airport, where operations are limited. As a result of prior proceedings, the four flights have been operated by Hawaiian Airlines from Honolulu; Delta Air Lines from Los Angeles and Seattle; and, until December 2013, American Airlines from New York (JFK).

The Department launched a proceeding to award the newly available Haneda opportunity after American Airlines informed DOT that it would be ending its New York-Haneda service. Two airlines applied; United proposed service from San Francisco, California, and Hawaiian Airlines proposed service from Kona, Hawaii.”

Update: On Monday May 12 United issued this statement:

United Airlines today announced it will add Tokyo’s Haneda Airport to its route network, with daily nonstop service from San Francisco effective October 26, 2014, subject to government approval.

Haneda Airport will be the tenth trans-Pacific destination that United serves nonstop from San Francisco, and the third new Asia-Pacific airport – also including Taipei and Chengdu – for United this year.

Flight 875 will depart San Francisco International Airport daily at 6:35 p.m., arriving at Haneda Airport at 10:05 p.m. the following day (all times local). On the return, flight 876 will depart Haneda daily at 12:05 a.m., arriving in San Francisco at 5:15 p.m. the previous day, after crossing the International Date Line. Flying times will be approximately 11 hours, 30 minutes westbound and 9 hours, 10 minutes eastbound.

Effective November 2, 2014, San Francisco arrival and departure times will be one hour earlier due to the end of daylight saving time.

Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-222 ER N218UA (msn 30222) in the Star Alliance color scheme taxies at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) hub.

United Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

Delta’s board authorizes a $2 billion share repurchase program and a 50% increase in dividends

Delta Air Lines‘ (Atlanta) Board of Directors have announced the next phase of the company’s plans to return capital to shareholders, including a 50 percent increase to its dividend and a new share repurchase authorization. The Board has authorized a new $2 billion share repurchase program, to be completed no later than Dec. 31, 2016. In addition, beginning in the September 2014 quarter, the company’s quarterly dividend will increase to $0.09 per share from the current $0.06 per share. Together, these two programs are expected to return an additional $2.75 billion to shareholders through 2016.

“Delta has deployed its strong cash flows to drive value for owners by strengthening its balance sheet through debt and pension reductions while also returning a significant amount of cash back to shareholders,” said Daniel Carp, chairman of Delta’s Board of Directors. “The Board is furthering our long-term commitment to Delta shareholders by substantially increasing our dividend and also providing a flexible vehicle to return additional cash to shareholders through the $2 billion share repurchase program. This next phase of our shareholder return program reflects the Board’s confidence in Delta’s ability to sustain and improve upon its already strong financial performance.”

Balanced Approach to Capital Deployment

In an investor presentation this morning, Delta updated its progress against the balanced capital deployment plan announced by the company in May 2013. With its financial performance and cash flows having exceeded the targets under that plan, Delta announced new plans to further drive shareholder value by accelerating the company’s efforts to reduce debt levels, address its pension obligations, and return cash to shareholders.

Debt: Delta ended the March 2014 quarter with $9.1 billion of adjusted net debt, a reduction of $2.6 billion since the end of 2012 and nearly $8 billion since the company began its debt reduction efforts in 2009. The company expects to reach $7 billion of adjusted net debt in 2015, two years ahead of its originally stated goal, and $5 billion of adjusted net debt by the end of 2016.
Pension: For 2013 and 2014, the company contributed nearly $1 billion each year to its defined benefit pension plans, through a combination of $700 million in required minimum funding and $250 million of incremental funding. This pension funding level, combined with higher interest rates and returns on pension assets, helped lower the company’s unfunded pension liability by 25 percent to just over $10 billion. The company plans to maintain its current $1 billion annual funding level through 2020, with a goal of achieving 80 percent funded status by that date.

Cash returns to shareholders: The company is on track to return $700 million to shareholders by early June 2014, through $200 million of dividends and completing its original $500 million share repurchase authorization more than two years ahead of its June 30, 2016 expiration date. The new repurchase authorization and increase to the quarterly dividend approved by Delta’s Board of Directors are expected to return an additional $2.75 billion to shareholders through 2016.

Repurchases under Delta’s program may be made through a variety of methods, which may include open market purchases, privately negotiated transactions, block trades, or accelerated share repurchase transactions in compliance with applicable regulatory guidelines, including Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 10b-18. Purchases will be made subject to market and economic conditions, applicable legal requirements, and other relevant factors. Delta had approximately 853 million shares of common stock outstanding as of March 31, 2014.

Bloomberg Businessweek article on Delta’s quest for a billion dollars in baggage fees!: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-232 LR (Longer Range) N706DN (msn 30440) climbs away from the runway at Paine Field near Everett, WA with the snow-capped Olympic Mountains in the background.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Emirates SkyCargo opens a new cargo center today at Dubai World Central’s (DWC) Al Maktoum International Airport

Emirates SkyCargo (Dubai) starts operations today (May 1) from its new cargo terminal at Dubai World Central’s (DWC) Al Maktoum International Airport.

The official start of operations was marked by the very early morning arrival of an Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777F Freighter from London (Heathrow), carrying a full load of more than 100 tons of cargo. The load of cargo included vehicles, ship spares, pharmaceuticals, oilfield equipment and an aircraft engine, some of which are for distribution in the U.A.E., while other cargo will be carried onward by Emirates passenger aircraft at Dubai International Airport (DXB) to various markets around Emirates’ network, such as South Africa, China, India and South Korea.
Emirates Media Player

Construction of phase one of the cargo terminal and supporting facilities began in July 2013, and with its completion operations are now in full swing with 250 staff on site. The newly opened terminal is equipped with start-of-the-art technology and will be able to handle 700 000 tons of cargo annually and have 500 staff when phase two, scheduled to be completed by September this year, comes into operation. The terminal has the potential for further expansion to reach 1 million tons.

Emirates SkyCargo currently has a fleet of 12 freighters, 10 Boeing 777Fs and two Boeing 747-400 ERFs, which operate to more than 50 destinations around the world. Cargo arriving on freighters will be transported by dedicated trucking services between DWC and Dubai International Airport along the Emirates Road (E-611) which will be the main corridor for connecting cargo between freighters and the passenger fleet. The current trucking fleet numbers 47, which will be increased relative to future growth requirements.

The newly opened terminal is equipped with state-of-the-art technology. It features a fully automated material handling system which is one of the world’s first to have an automated Quick Dolly Transfer System that enables quick transfer of 6 Unit Load Devices (ULDs) simultaneously. In addition, an automated pallet handling system, advanced storage system, offices, work station areas, modern communication and security systems and many amenities for employees, including canteens have been installed. The perishable area has been designed to handle about 140 000 tons of cargo per annum, featuring three large areas each with different temperature ranges.

The terminal infrastructure also includes 45 truck docks and 80 truck parking spaces, in addition to 12 aircraft stands directly in front of the terminal.

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-F1H A6-EFJ (msn 35610) arrives at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR).

Emirates Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

 

Emirates is coming to Brussels on September 5

Emirates (Dubai) today announced that it will launch a new daily service to Brussels, Belgium, from September 5, 2014.

Brussels will be Emirates’ 147th destination, closely following the launch of Oslo, Norway on September 2. The nonstop service will be operated by a Boeing 777 in a three-class configuration. Emirates will be the first international airline to offer a First Class product from Brussels to the Middle East and Asia.

The UAE is home to over 30 Belgian companies and over 3,000 Belgian residents. Emirates currently has over 160 Belgian nationals working in various roles across the company.

Brussels will be the eighth new destination from Emirates this calendar year following the earlier launches of Kiev, Taipei and Boston as well as Abuja and Kano launching on August 1, Chicago launching on August 5 and Oslo launching on September 2, 2014.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-21H LR (Longer Range) A6-EWC (msn 35576) climbs away from the ground at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Emirates: AG Slide Show

WSJ: Kuwait calls in Ms. Roumi to turn around Kuwait Airways

Kuwait Airways (Kuwait City) has a new CEO. Ms. Rasha Al Roumi, 52, has been selected by the Kuwait government to turn around the flag carrier according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning/AirlinersGallery.com. The Boeing 777-200 ERs are being phase out as the airline becomes an all-Airbus airline. Boeing 777-269 ER 9K-AOB (msn 28744) taxies to the gate at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

Kuwait Airways: AG Slide Show

 

Delta Air Lines reports a first quarter net profit of $281 million despite more than 17,000 cancelled flights

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) today reported financial results for the first (March) quarter. Key points include:

Delta’s pre-tax income for the March 2014 quarter was $444 million, excluding special items1, an increase of $363 million over the March 2013 quarter on a similar basis.

Delta’s net income for the March 2014 quarter was $281 million, or $0.33 per diluted share, excluding special items1. This is $196 million higher year over year despite $163 million of non-cash tax expense now recognized after the reversal of the company’s valuation allowance.

On a GAAP basis including special items, Delta’s pre-tax income was $335 million and net income was $213 million, or $0.25 per diluted share.

Delta cancelled more than 17,000 flights due to severe weather in January and February, double the number of flights cancelled for weather in 2013. These cancellations resulted in $90 million of lost revenue and $55 million lower pre-tax income.

Results include $99 million in profit sharing expense in recognition of Delta employees’ contributions toward achieving the company’s financial goals.

Delta generated $951 million of operating cash flow and $390 million of free cash flow in the March 2014 quarter. This strong cash generation allowed the company to reduce its adjusted net debt to $9.1 billion, contribute more than $600 million of funding to its defined benefit pension plans, and return $176 million to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.

“The March quarter’s record results in the face of unprecedented weather show the strength and resilience of Delta. By delivering the industry’s best customer service, operational reliability and financial performance, Delta people continue to show that they are the very best in the business,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer. “Our work is not finished, and there is great opportunity ahead as we expect the June quarter to produce 14% – 16% operating margins. We are transforming Delta into a high-quality S&P 500 company that consistently delivers strong earnings growth and shareholder returns.”

Revenue Environment

Delta’s operating revenue improved 5 percent, or $416 million, in the March 2014 quarter compared to the March 2013 quarter, despite $90 million of lost revenue due to weather-related cancellations. Traffic increased 3.5 percent on a 1.7 percent increase in capacity.

Passenger revenue increased 5 percent, or $357 million, compared to the prior year period. Passenger unit revenue (PRASM) increased 3.2 percent year over year with a 1.3 percent improvement in yield.

Cargo revenue decreased 9 percent, or $21 million, driven by lower freight volumes and lower yields.
Other revenue increased 8 percent, or $80 million, driven by higher joint venture and SkyMiles revenues.”March quarter’s top line growth of 5 percent shows the strength of Delta’s revenue momentum even through the revenue loss from weather and a shift of the Easter holiday traffic into April,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s president. “We see continued revenue strength as we move through the year from corporate revenue gains, the benefits of the Virgin Atlantic joint venture and improved ancillary revenues. These initiatives, coupled with a solid demand environment, should lead to unit revenue growth in the mid-single digits for the June quarter.”

Cost Performance

Total operating expense in the quarter increased $18 million year-over-year driven by the impact of employee investments including $79 million higher profit sharing expense. These cost increases were almost fully offset by lower fuel expense, savings from Delta’s structural cost initiatives, and receipt of a $25 million insurance claim related to Superstorm Sandy.

Consolidated unit cost excluding fuel expense, profit sharing and special items (CASM-Ex2), was 0.3 percent higher in the March 2014 quarter on a year-over-year basis, driven by the impact of employee investments and 1 point of pressure from weather-related cancellations. GAAP consolidated CASM decreased 1.4 percent.

Fuel expense, excluding mark-to-market adjustments, declined $167 million as a result of lower market fuel prices and better settled hedge performance. Delta’s average fuel price3 was $3.03 per gallon for the March quarter, which includes $107 million in settled hedge gains. On a GAAP basis, consolidated fuel expense for the March quarter decreased $109 million year-over-year, driven by lower market fuel prices and mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges.

Operations at the Trainer refinery produced a $41 million loss for the March quarter as a result of the same lower market fuel prices that lowered Delta’s overall fuel spend. During the quarter, one of the major crude units at the refinery was taken offline for scheduled modifications which lowered throughput levels. These modifications will yield a higher level of jet and diesel distillates going forward and improve the profitability of Trainer. In addition, refinery profitability was negatively impacted by an increase in Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) expense.

Non-operating expense for the quarter increased by $66 million, driven by a $31 million seasonal loss associated with Delta’s 49% ownership stake in Virgin Atlantic, an $18 million loss on extinguishment of debt driven by Delta’s debt reduction initiatives, and $39 million higher foreign exchange impact, including a $23 million loss associated with the devaluation of the Venezuelan currency. These losses were offset by $34 million lower interest expense.

“The March quarter marks another quarter with non-fuel unit cost growth below 2 percent, and the growing momentum of our domestic refleeting and other cost initiatives provide the platform to maintain this performance,” said Paul Jacobson, Delta’s chief financial officer. “We are addressing all parts of our cost base through executing our structural cost initiatives, lowering our fuel expense with the refinery and hedging, and reducing our interest burden with additional debt reduction.”

Cash Flow

Cash from operations during the March 2014 quarter was $951 million, driven by the company’s March quarter profit and the normal seasonal increase in advance ticket sales. Cash from operations is net of $605 million of contributions made by Delta to its defined benefit pension plans during the quarter. The company generated $390 million of free cash flow.

Capital expenditures during the March 2014 quarter were $570 million, including $514 million in fleet investments. During the quarter, Delta’s net debt maturities and capital leases were $353 million.

In the March quarter, the company returned $176 million to shareholders. On March 14, the company paid $51 million to shareholders, which represents a $0.06 per share quarterly dividend. In addition, the company repurchased four million shares at an average price of $30.94 for a total of $125 million. The company has completed $375 million of the $500 million share repurchase plan authorized by Delta’s Board of Directors in May 2013.

Delta ended the quarter with $5.6 billion of unrestricted liquidity and adjusted net debt of $9.1 billion. The company has now achieved nearly $8 billion in net debt reduction since 2009.

June 2014 Quarter Guidance

Following are Delta’s projections for the second (June) 2014 quarter:

2Q 2014 Forecast

Operating margin
14% – 16%

Fuel price, including taxes, settled hedges and refinery impact
$2.97 – $3.02

2Q 2014 Forecast

(compared to 2Q 2013)

Consolidated unit costs – excluding fuel expense and profit sharing
Up 0% – 2%

System capacity
Up 2% – 3%

Special Items
Delta recorded a net $68 million special items charge in the March 2014 quarter, including:

a $31 million charge associated with Delta’s domestic fleet restructuring;

a $21 million mark-to-market adjustment on fuel hedges; and

a $16 million charge for debt extinguishment and other.

Delta recorded a net $78 million special items charge in the March 2013 quarter, including:

a $102 million charge for facilities, fleet and other, primarily associated with Delta’s domestic fleet restructuring; and

a $24 million mark-to-market adjustment on fuel hedges.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-232 ER N862DA (msn 29734) departs from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Japan Airlines will launch JAL SKY NEXT on May 28 from Tokyo Haneda to Fukuoka

Japan Airlines (JAL) (Tokyo) will launch its first JAL SKY NEXT service between Tokyo (Haneda) and Fukuoka on May 28, 2014. A total of 77 aircraft are scheduled to be revamped sequentially and will be progressively introduced on domestic routes.

JAL SKY NEXT logo

JAL SKY NEXT will provide updated cabin interior with all-leather seats and LED lighting. Additionally, the in-flight internet service-JAL SKY Wi-Fi with new in-flight entertainment website will be introduced on domestic routes to deliver more comfortable travel experience and convenience to customers.

The first type with the new service standard will be the Boeing 777-200.

JAL SKY NEXT seats (JAL)

Top Copyright Photo (all others by JAL): Akira Uekawa/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-246 JA8984 (msn 27651) in the special “Sky Eco” livery departs from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.

JAL-Japan Airlines: AG Slide Show

Missing Malaysia Airlines remains the biggest aviation mystery of our time, Bluefin-21 fails to find anything so far

 

Malaysia logo-1

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) remains missing with all of its 239 passengers and crew members. It remains the biggest aviation mystery of our age. The underwater drone called “Bluefin-21″ has failed to find any remains of the presumed to have crashed airliner.

Here is an update on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 from CNN:

“The underwater drone scanning for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 finished its seventh mission Sunday (April 20), having covered about half its intended territory without finding any sign of the missing plane.

The Bluefin-21 drone started its eighth mission soon after the previous one ended Sunday morning, surveying the bottom of the southern Indian Ocean for traces of the Boeing 777.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Yesterday Hishammuddin Hussein, Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport issued this briefing:

Introductory Statement

I would like to begin this with a message.

On behalf of the Malaysian Government and specifically the MH370 SAR team, we would like to extend deepest sympathies and condolences to those on board the tragic incident involving the South Korea ferry that departed from Incheon planned for Jeju. We empathies and can imagine how difficult it can be for the families and the SAR team coping with the situation. All our thoughts and prayers are with them.

I will now continue with MH370.

We have now entered day 43 of the search operation for the MH370. It has been six weeks since we started the operation in which we have continuously refined the search area in the quest to locate the missing aircraft. We have pursued every possible lead presented to us at this stage and with every passing day, the search has become more difficult.

Search Updates

On Thursday, I spoke with Angus Houston and he has briefed me on the images captured from the Bluefin – 21 AUV. I can confirm that the Bluefin – 21 has captured clear and sharp images of the seabed while its search mission in the underwater search area. However, from all 6 missions conducted, no contacts of interest have been found to date. Bluefin – 21 AUV’s seventh missing has been commenced this morning.

From the images, Angus has also confirmed me that the terrain of the seabed is undulating and the Bluefin – 21 is focusing on the immediate search area based on the pings that have been detected. Some media reports have stated that it would take Bluefin -21 anywhere from six weeks to two months to scan the entire underwater search area. This is incorrect. The immediate search area that the Bluefin – 21 is now scouring should be completed within the next week.

As Prime Minister Abbott stated earlier this week, and I quote –

“We will regroup and reconsider the SAR operations, if there are no new updates in the given time” – end quote.

I have to stress that this is not ti stip operations but to also consider other approaches which may include widening the scope of the search and utilizing other assets that could be relevant in the search operation.

The search will always continue. It is just a matter of approach. All efforts will intensified for the next few days with regards to the underwater search.

I would also like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Malaysian government, to again thank Australia on narrowing the search area and doing all they can in the search for MH370.

Updates on Ministerial Committees

As I announced a few weeks ago, three ministerial committees have been established. They have been working tirelessly and I will now update you on their progress.

The next of kin committee, led by Hamzah Zainuddin, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, is working closely with various Governments especially the countries whose nationals were on board MH370. From the meetings with the representative embassies and high commissions, various issues that needed urgent attention were addressed.

Hamzah has also discussed with his counterparts in Beijing and both sides have exchanged views and discussed ways and means to deal with the situation with regards to the families of those on board.

The technical committee, led by Aziz Kaprawi, Deputy Minister of Transport, has developed and drafted the proposed structure and Terms of Reference of the Aircraft Accident Investigation Team For MH370 in accordance with the Malaysian Civil Aviation Regulations 1996 (MCAR 1996) and Annex 13 – Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation, Chicago Convention.

The structure was developed after consulting the experts from the Air Accidents Investigation Brach, United Kingdom (AAIB), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), United States, Australia Transportation Safety Board (ATSB) and Air Accident Investigation Department, China. The proposed team would comprise of local and international experts.

We have also spoken with the ASEAN secretariat on the possibility of appointing some of our counterparts to come on board. This is in accordance with the ASEAN Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation Relating to Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation that was signed in 2008.

The Asset Deployment committee has identified private companies that have the capabilities for deep water salvage and recovery work, and other national assets that can be deployed to support this operation. Local companies such as DEFTECH and Boustead have been tasked to discuss with their international collaborative partners such as SAAB, DCNS (Direction des Constructions Navales) and other to identify the relevant assets and instruments required for the search operation.

I have also been in consultations with Jean Paul Troadec given his experience in handling Air France 447 in deploying private commercial assets to assist in their search operations.

Concluding Remarks

As we move on to the next phase of the search, I am humbled that more friends from other nations have been expressed their willingness to assist and support our efforts to locate MH370.

Thank you.

 

 

The search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 switches to Bluefin 21

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370, remains missing. The search for MH 370 has been long and frustrating to everyone involved. The fate of Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) (above) and the 239 souls on board remains a true aviation mystery. It may remain the greatest mystery of our lifetimes.

A new oil slick has been discovered near where the four series of pings were located west of Australia in the Ocean Ocean. There has been no sign of any wreckage from 9M-MRO.

According to CNN, the search for MH 370 enters a new phase with the underwater vehicle Bluefin 21 taking center stage.

However Bluefin 21 faces plenty of challenges in finding the missing Triple Seven. This article explains how the side-scan sonar works on Bluefin 21.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO lands at the Kuala Lumpur base in the past.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Alitalia launches Venice-Tokyo service, cancels its order for 12 Airbus A350-800s

Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) on April 3 launched nonstop service between Venice and Tokyo (narita). The new route will operate two days a week: AZ 788 will depart on Thursdays and Saturdays at 1.30 PM and will land in Tokyo at 9.40 AM (local time) the following morning. From Tokyo Narita, AZ 789 will depart every Wednesday and Friday at 12.25 PM (local time) and will arrive in Venice at 8.20 PM.

Alitalia has a total of 19 weekly frequencies to Japan: 14 frequencies a week, of which 7 are from Rome Fiumicino, 5 from Milan Malpensa and 2 from Venice, which connect these three Italian airports with Tokyo Narita; 5 flrequencies a week connect Rome Fiumicino with Osaka.

Venice has become the third Italian city, after Rome and Milan, to host intercontinental flights operated by Alitalia and, above all, for the first time, Alitalia offers the citizens of Venice and the Veneto region a direct service to the Far East.

The service between Venice and Tokyo will be operated by one of Alitalia’s Boeing 777-200 ER aircraft, the flagship of its long-haul fleet, which can accommodate 293 passengers on board divided into three classes of travel: Magnifica business class (30 seats), Classic Plus premium economy class (24 seats) and Classica economy class (239 seats).

In other news, Alitalia has canceled its order for 12 Airbus A350-800s and 12 options. The order was originally placed in June 2008 by Air One.

Copyright Photo: Reinhard Zinabold/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-243 ER I-DISO (msn 32857) taxies at Toronto (Pearson).

Alitalia (2nd): AG Slide Show

Australian Angus Houston: “I’m now optimistic that we will find the aircraft, or what is left of the aircraft, in the not too distant future.”

AMSA Map 4.9.14

According to Reuters, Australian officials today (April 9) reported “two new “ping” signals” had been detected in the search for Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370, boosting confidence after more than a month of searching for the missing Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) with 239 souls on board.

According to Reuters, “The signals, which could be from the plane’s black box recorders, bring to four the number of overall “pings” detected in recent days within the search area by a U.S. Navy “Towed Pinger Locator”(TPL).”

Angus Houston, head of the Australian agency coordinating the search, said “I’m now optimistic that we will find the aircraft, or what is left of the aircraft, in the not too distant future.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

AMSA logo

The Joint Agency Coordination Centre today issued this statement:

Up to 11 military aircraft, four civil aircraft and 14 ships will assist in today’s search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Today AMSA has planned a search area of about 75,423 square kilometres.

The centre of the search area is approximately 2261 kilometres north west of Perth.

A weak front is moving in from the south east, expected to bring scattered showers.

The underwater search continues today, with ADV Ocean Shield at the northern end of the defined search area, and Chinese ship Haixun 01 and HMS Echo at the southern end.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau continues to refine the area where the aircraft entered the water based on continuing ground-breaking and multi-disciplinary technical analysis of satellite communication and aircraft performance, passed from the international air crash investigative team comprising analysts from Malaysia, the United States, the UK, China and Australia.

Top Map: AMSA. The top map shows today’s search area and also the location of the areas where the pings were heard by the Australian ship ADV Ocean Shield on April 6 and the Chinese ship Hai Xun on April 5.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Map: AMS. A close-up map of the pinger locations found by ADV Ocean Shield.

AMSA Ocean Shield Pinger Map 4.9.14

Malaysia logo-1

Video: From Malaysia Airlines:

 

Did Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH 370 purposely avoid Indonesian airspace?

AMSA Map 4.6.14

CNN is reporting the following today (April 6) concerning missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370:

“A senior Malaysian government source told CNN that Flight 370 flew around Indonesian airspace after it dropped off Malaysian military radar. The plane may have been intentionally taken along a route designed to avoid radar detection, the source said.

In the search for the plane in the Indian Ocean, a Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01 picked up two signals, one on Friday and another on Saturday, that were only 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) apart, authorities said.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

CNN Video:

If true, this would show intent by someone in the cockpit to avoid radar detention by avoiding flying over western Indonesia before heading south into the Indian Ocean.

Meanwhile search teams have shifted to new areas to search (see map above) adding more credence to the Chinese ping reports. A British ship with elaborate detection equipment is moving into the area detected by the Chinese.

Map: AMSA.

Chinese ship discovers a pulse signal in the southern Indian Ocean, is this missing flight MH 370?

AMSA MH 370 4.5.14 Search Map

According to CNN, “A Chinese patrol ship looking for signs of Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 370 in the southern Indian Ocean discovered Saturday a pulse signal with a frequency of 37.5 kHz, state news agency Xinhua reported.

“That is the standard beacon frequency” for both so-called black boxes — the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder, said Anish Patel, president of pinger manufacturer Dukane Seacom.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

AMSA logo

The Joint Agency Corrdination Centre of Australia issued this statement today:

Up to 10 military planes, three civil jets and 11 ships will assist in today’s search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Today ADV Ocean Shield and HMS Echo continue underwater search operations.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has determined a search area of about 217,000 square kilometres, 1700 kilometres north west of Perth.

Today’s search area will focus on three areas within the same vicinity.

The weather forecast for today’s search is fair, with possible showers in the search area.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau continues to refine the area where the aircraft entered the water based on continuing ground-breaking and multi-disciplinary technical analysis of satellite communication and aircraft performance, passed from the international air crash investigative team comprising analysts from Malaysia, the United States, the UK, China and Australia.

 

Malaysia Airlines today issued this statement:

Malaysia logo-1

1. Introduction

It’s been almost a month since MH370 went missing.

The search operation has been difficult, challenging and complex.

In spite of all this, our determination remains undiminished.

We will continue the search with the same level of vigour and intensity.

We owe this to the families of those on board, and to the wider world.

We will continue to focus, with all our efforts, on finding the aircraft.

2. Investigation into MH370

As per the requirements set out by the ICAO in Annex 13 of the International Standards and Recommended Practices, Malaysia will continue to lead the investigation into MH370.

As per the ICAO standards, Malaysia will also appoint an independent ‘Investigator In Charge’ to lead an investigation team.

The investigation team will include three groups:

- an airworthiness group, to look at issues such as maintenance records, structures and systems;

- an operations group, to examine things such as flight recorders, operations and meteorology;

- and a medical and human factors group, to investigate issues such as psychology, pathology and survival factors.

The investigation team will also include accredited countries.

Malaysia has already asked Australia to be accredited to the investigation team, and they have accepted.

We will also include China, the United States, the United Kingdom and France as accredited representatives to the investigation team, along with other countries that we feel are in a position to help.

3. Formation of committees

In addition to the new investigation team mentioned above, the Government – in order to streamline and strengthen our on-going efforts – has established three ministerial committees.

Firstly, we have established a Next of Kin Committee. Hamzah Zainuddin, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, leads this committee.

This committee will oversee all aspects regarding the Next of Kin of those on board MH370, providing families with information on the search operation, and offering support after the search operation has been concluded.

The committee will co-ordinate with relevant foreign governments, and will complement the work already being done for the families by Malaysian Airlines.

The second committee oversees technicalities, specifically, the formation and the appointment of the investigation team. Abdul Aziz Kaprawi, the Deputy Minister of Transport, leads this committee.

The third committee takes over issues related to the deployment of assets for the search operation. Abdul Rahim Bakri, the Deputy Minister of Defence, leads this committee. This committee will work with foreign counterparts involved in the search operation, and liaise closely with the Australian Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre.

4. US-ASEAN Defence Forum

This morning, I returned from the US-ASEAN Defence Forum, which I attended in my capacity as Defence Minister.

At the forum, I updated our ASEAN counterparts, and the United States, on the latest developments in the search for MH370.

I also spoke to officials from other countries involved in the multi-national search operation.

The spirit of co-operation at the meeting, and the support offered, was commendable.

During my bilateral meeting with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Secretary Hagel reiterated his commitment that the United States would continue to support the search operation, and will provide whatever assets are deemed necessary.

I thanked Secretary Hagel for the United States’ unwavering support, which has included both the deployment of naval and air assets, sophisticated underwater search equipment, and assistance from the FBI, the NTSB and the FAA.

At the Forum, I also received strong support from our ASEAN partners in the search for MH370.

I would like to read out the joint statement issued by the ASEAN Ministers, which I believe underscores the tremendous spirit of co-operation within ASEAN, in the face of this difficult search operation:

“We, the Defence Ministers of the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations express our deepest sympathies to the family members of the passengers and crew on board the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

We acknowledge that the member nations of ASEAN have participated in the search operations directly and indirectly since the plane went missing on 8th March 2014.

From the South China Sea, the Andaman Sea to the Indian Ocean – ASEAN has continued to assist in every way possible, true to the spirit of regional cooperation and friendship without any hesitation in sharing of information, assets and expertise.

We believe that Malaysia has done its level best in its response to this unprecedented predicament given the sheer scale of the Search and Rescue (SAR) operation which is the biggest and most complex we have ever seen.

We reaffirm our commitment for greater cooperation between each member nationespecially in the field of disaster management under the framework of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response. This incident stressed upon us the importance of information and resource sharing as we strive to be in the utmost state of readiness in mitigating potential calamities and risks.

ASEAN’s unity will remain solid and is totally committed to assisting Malaysia in coordinating this massive SAR to locate MH370. We are resolute in finding a closure to this tragic chapter in aviation history. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families in these difficult times.”

5. Concluding remarks

Before I end, let me touch on some unfounded allegations made against Malaysia.

These allegations include the extraordinary assertion that Malaysian authorities were somehow complicit in what happened to MH370.

I should like to state, for the record, that these allegations are completely untrue.

As I have said before, the search for MH370 should be above politics.

And so I call on all Malaysians to unite; to stand by our armed forces as they work in difficult conditions, with their foreign counterparts, thousands of miles from home; and to support all those who are working tirelessly in the search for MH370.

Lastly, as I mentioned on Wednesday, while I was at the US-ASEAN Defence Forum, I spoke by telephone to the British Secretary of State for Defence, Phillip Hammond, regarding the nuclear-powered submarine HMS Tireless.

I hereby confirm that the submarine is now in the search area and helping in the search operation.

Map: AMSA.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Austrian Airlines introduces “Life Ball 2014″ on Boeing 777 OE-LPB

Austrian 777-200 OE-LPB (03-Life Ball)(Grd)(Austrian)(LR)

Austrian Airlines (Vienna) has introduced a “Life Ball 2014″ decorated Boeing 777. The airline received financial support from the Vienna Tourist Board to promote the event. Austrian Airlines has branded former Lauda Air Boeing 777-2Z9 ER OE-LPB (msn 28699) to promote the upcoming Life Ball 2014.

Copyright Photo: Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Delta relocates key flights to Terminal 3 at London’s Heathrow Airport next to Virgin Atlantic

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) today mark another major step forward in their partnership as Delta relocates some of its key services to join Virgin Atlantic at Heathrow Terminal 3. The move comes as both airlines start flying their new and aligned summer schedules that offer customers more choice and flexibility while reducing onward transit times.

From today, Delta moves its arrival and departure terminal for several important business markets including its London to New York-JFK, London to Boston, and new London to Seattle services to Heathrow’s Terminal 3. The move enhances convenience and a seamless customer experience. For example, on the world’s most important business travel market between London Heathrow (Terminal 3) and New York JFK (Terminal 4) Delta and Virgin Atlantic will now operate from the same terminal and make it easier for customers to manage their travel plans including any last minute flight changes. The two airlines have also introduced a dedicated New York to London schedule with the customer in mind.

The new routes announced by Delta and Virgin Atlantic include Delta’s new West Coast service between Seattle and London Heathrow which commenced flying on March 30, 2014. And in co-operation with Virgin Atlantic, Delta will also operate a second daily service between London Heathrow and Detroit Metropolitan Airport effective June 2, 2014. The service will be particularly appealing to corporate customers needing an early morning arrival into London while offering more schedule choice for customers between London and the U.S. Midwest.

The two airlines’ summer schedule includes a total of 32 peak daily nonstop flights between North America and the U.K.. Of these, 25 flights will operate between London Heathrow and popular U.S. destinations such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta and Washington.

Delta and Virgin Atlantic also provide a competitive offering for the New York to London travel market. It is designed with business travelers in mind and offers a total of nine daily nonstop flights. The schedule includes departures every 30 minutes during the early evening peak and then hourly until 22:30 from New York-JFK to London Heathrow. From London Heathrow to New York-JFK there is a spread of seven daily flights including two late afternoon and early evening departures. These services will be complemented by two daily nonstop flights between New York’s Newark airport and London Heathrow.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-232 LR N703DN (msn 32222) of Delta holds in position for runway clearance at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show

Virgin Atlantic Airways: AG Slide Show

 

Searchers shift their search to a new northern area, five aircraft spot new floating objects

AMSA Map 3.28.14

The search for Malaysian Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) with 239 souls on board has shifted to a new area in the Indian Ocean after new analysis of the data and the spotting of new objects by a Royal New Zealand Air Force Lockheed P-3 Orion in this new area. The new area is approximately 680 miles further north of the previous search area which did not yield any confirmed debris from flight MH 370. The new analysis is due to new computations that MH 370 could have been flying faster and may have run out of fuel earlier.

According to AMSA a total of five aircraft spotted objects today in the new area. A ship will be in the new area tomorrow.

Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE

AMSA logo

The Australia Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) which is leading the search from Perth, Western Australia has issued this statement about the change:

[Date]

We would like to update you on some credible information AMSA has received from the ATSB which will see the search area refocused today.

The AMSA search for any sign of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has been shifted to an area north following advice from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

An international air crash investigation team in Malaysia provided updated advice to the ATSB, which has examined the information and determined an area 1100 kilometres to the north east of the existing search area is now the most credible lead as to where debris may be located.

The new search area is approximately 319,000 square kilometres, about 1850 kilometres west of Perth.

The Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO) is re-tasking satellites to capture images of the new area.

Weather conditions are better in the revised area and ten aircraft have been tasked for today’s search.

They include two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P3 Orions, a Japanese Coast Guard Gulfstream 5 jet, a Japanese P3 Orion, a Republic of Korea P3 Orion, a Republic of Korea C130 Hercules, a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion, a Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force Ilyushin IL-76, a United States Navy P8 Poseidon aircraft, and one civil Australian jet acting as a communications relay.

Four of the ten aircraft are overhead the search area, with a further six planes to fly over the area today.

A further RAAF P3 Orion has been placed on standby at RAAF Base Pearce in WA to investigate any reported sightings.

Six ships are relocating to the new search area including HMAS Success and five Chinese ships.

Chinese Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) patrol ship, Haixun 01, is in the search area.

HMAS Success is expected to arrive in the search area late tomorrow night.

A US towed pinger locator and Bluefin-21 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle have arrived in Perth to assist with location and recovery of the black box.

The depth of the water in the search area is between 2000 and 4000 metres.

Malaysia logo-1

 

Meanwhile Malaysia Airlines issued this statement today:

Introductory statement

Today, the search for MH370 has been further refined. The international investigation team continue working to narrow the search area, and shed further light on MH370’s flight path.

We are, as always, grateful for the continuing co-operation of our partners in this difficult and intensive search.

Whilst search operations are on-going, we continue to focus our efforts on caring for the families. In Cabinet this morning, we discussed the importance of continuing to support the relatives of the passengers and crew.

1. Refined search area

On Monday, the Prime Minister announced that based on new data analysis, Inmarsat and the AAIB had concluded that MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth.

On Tuesday, I confirmed that further study of this data would be undertaken to attempt to determine the final position of the aircraft. The Malaysian investigation team set up an international working group, comprising agencies with expertise in satellite communications and aircraft performance, to take this work forward.

The international working group included representatives from the UK, namely Inmarsat, AAIB, and Rolls Royce; from China, namely the CAAC and AAID; from the US, namely the NTSB, FAA, and Boeing; as well as the relevant Malaysian authorities.
The group has been working to refine the Inmarsat data, and to analyse it – together with other information, including radar data and aircraft performance assumptions – to narrow the search area.

Information which had already been examined by the investigation was re-examined in light of new evidence drawn from the Inmarsat data analysis.

In addition, international partners – who continue to process data in their home countries, as well as in the international working group – have further refined existing data. They have also come up with new technical information, for example on aircraft performance.

Yesterday, this process yielded new results, which indicated that MH370 flew at a higher speed than previously thought, which in turn means it used more fuel and could not travel as far. This information was passed to RCC Australia by the NTSB, to help further refine and narrow the search area.

The Australian authorities have indicated that they have shifted the search area approximately 1,100 kilometres to the north east. Because of ocean drift, this new search area could still be consistent with the potential objects identified by various satellite images over the past week.

This work is on-going, and we can expect further refinements. As the Australian authorities indicated this morning, this is standard practice in a search operation. It is a process of continually refining data which in turn further narrows the search area. With each step, we get closer to understanding MH370’s flight path.

Searches must be conducted on the best information available at the time. In the search for MH370, we have consistently followed the evidence, and acted on credible leads. Our search and rescue efforts have been directed by verified and corroborated information. This latest refinement of the search area is no different.

2. Satellite images

Last night, Japanese authorities announced they had satellite images which showed a number of floating objects approximately 2,500 kilometres southwest of Perth. Early this morning we received separate satellite imagery from the Thai authorities which also showed potential objects.

These new satellite images join those released by Australia, China, France, and Malaysia, all of which are with RCC Australia. The range of potential objects, and the difficulty in re-identifying them shows just how complex this investigation is. We remain grateful to all our partners for continuing to assist in the search operations.

3. Concluding remarks

The new search area, approximately 1,680 kilometres west of Perth, remains in the Australian area of responsibility.

Australia continues to lead the search efforts in this new area, and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority gave a comprehensive operational update earlier today. As more information emerges, they will be issuing frequent operational updates, including on assets deployed.

I would like to echo their statements that the new search area, although more focused than before, remains considerable; and that the search conditions, although easier than before, remain challenging.

For the families of those on board, we pray that further processing of data, and further progress in the search itself, brings us closer to finding MH370.

Map: AMSA. The new search area (in green) is 1,850 kilometers (1,155 miles) directly west of Perth .

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Turkmenistan Airlines takes delivery of the first of two new Boeing 777-200 LRs

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has delivered a 777-200 LR (Longer Range) (777-22K LR EZ-A778, msn 42296) passenger aircraft to Turkmenistan’s national flag carrier, Turkmenistan Airlines (Ashgabat). The airplane is the first of two new 777-200 LRs Turkmenistan Airlines has on order. The delivery coincided with the opening of a new terminal at the Ashgabat International airport.

Previously Turkmenistan took delivery of the pictured 777-22K LR EZ-A777 (msn 39548) on August 31, 2010.

Turkmenistan Airlines’ fleet modernization plan started in 1992 when the airline became the first in the Commonwealth of Independent States to order airplanes from Boeing. The airplane will join Turkmenistan’s fleet of airplanes, which currently include seven 717-200s, three 737-300s, four 737-700s, five 737-800s and four 757-200s.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. EZ-A777 departs from Paine Field near Everett, WA.

Turkmenistan Airlines: AG Slide Show

Has missing flight MH 370 finally been located? French satellite shows a new large debris field of 122 shiny objects

AMSA Indian Ocean Search Map 3.26.14

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) with 239 souls may have finally been located (subject to on-site ship confirmation).

According to CNN, “Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) received new satellite images from France that were taken on March 23. The images showed 122 potential objects in one area of the Indian Ocean. Some of the objects were as much as 23 meters in length. Some appeared bright, possibly indicating solid material. They were located about 2,500 kilometers from Perth. “This is another new lead that will help direct the search operation,” said Acting Minister of Transportation Hishammuddin Bin Hussein on Wednesday.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has issued this update for today (March 26):

Today’s search for any signs of the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft in the Australian Search and Rescue Region is now underway.

A total of six countries are now assisting in the search and recovery operation – Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea.

A total of seven military and five civil aircraft will be involved in today’s search activities. One Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft from China departed Perth around 8am for the search area.

A Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion aircraft NZ P-3K2 departed for the search area around 9.10am.

A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P3 Orion is scheduled to depart Perth around 11am. A US Navy P8 Poseidon is due to depart around 2pm.
A Japanese P3 Orion is due to depart Perth around 3pm.
A second RAAF P3 Orion is scheduled to depart for the search area around 4pm.

A Republic of Korea P3 Orion is due to depart around 5pm.

Two civil aircraft have now departed Perth for the search area. The remaining three civil aircraft will depart for the search area between 10am and midday.

A total of 34 State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers from Western Australia will be air observers on board the five civil aircraft.

HMAS Success and China’s polar supply ship Xue Long are now in the search area.

 

Malaysia Airlines just issued this statement:

Malaysia logo-1

Introductory statement:
The search for MH370 continues. Our efforts are now focused in the southern Indian Ocean, where a multi-national team, led by Australia, is combing the waters trying to find debris from the flight.
Our determination to find MH370 remains steadfast. As we have said all along, we will never give up trying to find the plane – in order to bring closure for the families, and to establish exactly what happened to MH370.

1. New satellite images:
Australia, China and France have already released satellite images, showing objects that may be related to MH370.
Yesterday, on 25 March, the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) received new satellite images from Airbus Defence and Space, which is based in France. The images were taken on 23 March.
MRSA analysed the images and – in one area of the ocean measuring some 400 square kilometres – were able to identify 122 potential objects.
Some objects were a metre in length; others were as much as 23 metres in length. Some of the objects appeared to be bright, possibly indicating solid materials.
The objects were located approximately 2,557 kilometres from Perth. We will issue handouts relating to this new information, after this press conference.
MRSA’s findings were immediately forwarded to the Australian Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Perth yesterday. It must be emphasized that we cannot tell whether the potential objects are from MH370. Nevertheless, this is another new lead that will help direct the search operation.
We have now had four separate satellite leads, from Australia, China and France, showing possible debris. It is now imperative that we link the debris to MH370. This will enable us to further reduce the search area, and locate more debris from the plane.
2. Operational update:
Australia is leading the search effort in the southern Indian Ocean, based out of Perth. Malaysia continues to play a co-ordinating role. All countries involved are displaying unprecedented levels of co-operation; that has not changed. Australia has divided the search area into two sectors, East and West.

Today the weather has improved, and twelve planes will travel to the search area – six in the East sector and six in the West.
In the East sector, searches will be conducted by:

- one Australian P3 Orion, and three Australian civilian aircraft.

- one Chinese Ilyushin IL-76.

- one New Zealand P3 Orion.
In the West sector, searches will be conducted by:

- one US P8 Poseidon.
– one Korean P3 Orion.

- one Japanese P3 Orion.

- two Australian P3 Orions, and one civilian aircraft.
Two ships will also join the search operations.
Yesterday ‘HMAS Success’ was redeployed to the south of the search area due to bad weather. Today the ship has returned and will support the search operation in the West sector. Meanwhile, the Chinese ship ‘Xue Long’ has today been deployed to the East sector.
A Japanese Coast Guard gulfstream aircraft left Subang this morning for Perth, to join the search operation.
As I mentioned yesterday, the search operations in the northern corridor, and in the northern part of the southern corridor, have been called off. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent diplomatic notes to all relevant countries to formally inform them of this change.
Before I continue, I would like to convey our appreciation to the Australian authorities, and in particular to Prime Minister Tony Abbot, for making such an extraordinary contribution to the search operation.

 

3. Chinese Special Envoy
Today, the Prime Minister met with His Excellency Zhang Yesui, the Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy of the Government of China. I also met with His Excellency this afternoon.
During our conversation His Excellency conveyed China’s commitment to continue and intensify the search operation in any way possible, and to deploy any assets that may be required.
Malaysia has provided his His Excellency and his delegation with a full update on the latest information from Inmarsat.
His Excellency and his delegation also received a comprehensive briefing from the international technical team.

4. International Working Group
As I mentioned yesterday, based on the new information provided by Inmarsat, we have established an international working group. The agencies involved in this working group include: Inmarsat, AAIB, the Chinese CAAC and AAID, NTSB, FAA, Boeing and Rolls Royce, as well as the relevant Malaysian authorities.
The role of the working group is to help try and refine the Inmarsat data and, if possible, more accurately determine the final position of MH370.

5. Further information
I should like to note that the CEO of Malindo Airlines, Chandran Rama Murthy, has joined me on stage today, and will be able to answer any questions that you might have.

As I announced yesterday, MAS is now taking a lead in communicating with the families and is conducting their own press conferences. MAS will hold another press conference tomorrow.
Concluding remarks
New satellite images continue to provide clues in the search for MH370. And with improved weather conditions, aircraft are now able to investigate objects of interest.
I would like to thank once again our international partners for their continued support and assistance. The search for MH370, and the investigation into what happened on board the flight, is now a truly international effort.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bad weather and rough seas disrupts the search for debris from Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH 370

20131127raaf8227810_0033.jpg

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) with 239 souls on board remains lost somewhere in the remote south Indian Ocean. So far, no confirmed debris has been located from the missing flight.

According to Reuters, “bad weather and rough seas today (March 25) forced the suspension of the search for any wreckage of the missing Malaysian jetliner that officials are now sure crashed in the remote Indian Ocean with the loss of all 239 people on board.”

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) which is leading the search from Perth, Western Australia, issued this map and statement today:

AMSA Search Areas for MH 370 3.25.14 (AMSA)

 

A search and recovery operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft in the southern Indian Ocean will resume on Wednesday, March 25.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott confirmed on Tuesday the focus is now on search and recovery of any objects related to the ill-fated Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.

A visual search will resume tomorrow when the weather is expected to improve after gale force winds and heavy swells resulted in the suspension of the search operation on Tuesday.

As many as twelve aircraft are expected to be involved in the search tomorrow, including seven military aircraft and five civil aircraft.

HMAS Success will return to the search area and conduct a surface sweep of an area identified on Monday afternoon by a Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orion as the location for several objects of interest.

A total of six countries are now assisting in the search – Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea.

India has also offered to join the search and recovery operation.

China’s polar supply ship Xue Long (Snow Dragon) and three other Chinese ships are expected to arrive in the search area on Wednesday.

 

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines today issued this statement:

By: Tan Sri Md Nor Md Yusof, Chairman of Malaysia Airlines

As you will be aware, last night the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak, announced new evidence regarding the disappearance of MH370 on March 8.

Based on this evidence, the Prime Minister’s message was that we must accept the painful reality that the aircraft is now lost and that none of the passengers or crew on board survived.

This is a sad and tragic day for all of us at Malaysia Airlines. While not entirely unexpected after an intensive multi-national search across a 2.24 million square mile area, this news is clearly devastating for the families of those on board. They have waited for over two weeks for even the smallest hope of positive news about their loved ones.

This has been an unprecedented event requiring an unprecedented response. The investigation still underway may yet prove to be even longer and more complex than it has been since March 8. But we will continue to support the families – as we have done throughout. And to support the authorities as the search for definitive answers continues. I will now ask our Group Chief Executive¸ Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, to provide you will with fuller details of our support for the families.

By: Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, Group Chief Executive Officer, Malaysia Airlines

I stand before you today not only as the Group Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Airlines, but also as a parent, as a brother, as a son. My heart breaks to think of the unimaginable pain suffered by all the families. There are no words which can ease that pain. Everyone in the Malaysia Airlines family is praying for the 239 souls on MH370 and for their loved ones on this dark day. We extend our prayers and sincere condolences.

We all feel enormous sorrow and pain. Sorrow that all those who boarded Flight MH370 on Saturday 8th March, will not see their families again. And that those families will now have to live on without those they love. It must be remembered too that 13 of our own colleagues and fellow Malaysians were also on board.

And let me be very clear on the events of yesterday evening. Our sole and only motivation last night was to ensure that in the incredibly short amount of time available to us, the families heard the tragic news before the world did. Wherever humanly possible, we did so in person with the families or by telephone, using SMS only as an additional means of ensuring fully that the nearly 1,000 family members heard the news from us and not from the media.

Ever since the disappearance of Flight MH370 Malaysia Airlines’ focus has been to comfort and support the families of those involved and support the multi-national search effort. We will continue to do this, while we also continue to support the work of the investigating authorities in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Like everyone else, we are waiting for news from those authorities. We know that while there have been an increasing number of apparent leads, definitive identification of any piece of debris is still missing. It is impossible to predict how long this will take. But after 17 days, the announcement made last night and shared with the families is the reality which we must now accept. When Malaysia Airlines receives approval from the investigating authorities, arrangements will be made to bring the families to the recovery areas if they so wish. Until that time, we will continue to support the ongoing investigation. And may I express my thanks to the Government and all of those involved in this truly global search effort.

In the meantime, Malaysia Airlines’ overwhelming focus will be the same as it has been from the outset – to provide the families with a comprehensive support program. Through a network of over 700 dedicated caregivers, the loved ones of those on board have been provided with two dedicated caregivers for each family, providing care, support and counsel. We are now supporting over 900 people under this programme and in the last 72 hours, we have trained an additional 40 caregivers to ensure the families have access to round-the-clock support.

In addition, hotel accommodation for up to five family members per passenger, transportation, meals and others expenses have been provided since March 8 and that will continue.

Malaysia Airlines has already provided initial financial assistance of $5,000 per passenger to the next of kin. We recognize that financial support is not the only consideration. But the prolonged search is naturally placing financial strain on the relatives. We are therefore preparing to offer additional payments as the search continues.

This unprecedented event in aviation history has made the past 18 days the greatest challenge to face our entire team at Malaysia Airlines. I have been humbled by the hard work, dedication, heartfelt messages of concern and offers of support from our remarkable team. We do not know why, and we do not know how this terrible tragedy happened. But as the Malaysia Airlines family, we are all praying for the passengers and crew of Flight MH370.

Copyright Photo and Map: AMSA.

 

Chinese Il-76 spots “suspicious objects” in the southern Indian Ocean today

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A Chinese Ilyushin Il-76 search aircraft has spotted “suspicious objects” in the southern Indian Ocean today (March 24) according to Reuters, quoting a Xinhua news agency report. The crew spotted two “relatively big” floating objects and several smaller white ones dispersed over several kilometers, Xinhua reported. The object could be from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 with missing Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (man 28420) and its passengers.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

In addition and Australian aircraft has also spotted additional debris.

According to CNN, “military radar tracking shows that the aircraft changed altitude after making a sharp turn over the South China Sea as it headed toward the Strait of Malacca, a source close to the investigation into the missing flight told CNN. The plane flew as low as 12,000 feet at some point before it disappeared from radar, according to the source.”

This would suggest a possible massive decompression or fire on board and the crew was trying to get back to land and a lower altitude.

Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE

Some missing airliners are never found. In June 1960, Northwest Airlines flight 2501 vanished over Lake Michigan. It has never been found:

The loss of flight MH 370 has been a struggle for the state-owned flag carrier. The presumed crash will also have a financial toll for the carrier. The airline has been struggling to be profitable. Bloomberg Businessweek discusses the financial health of the airline.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Forbes: Boeing 777 controls cannot be hacked: Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Finally Malaysia Airlines has issued this short statement and a video from its CEO Ahmad Jauhari:

As the search and rescue mission of flight MH 370 continues to prove to be an uphill battle, Malaysia Airlines has not wavered in our efforts to offer compassion and support. Throughout this entire period Malaysia Airlines has provided complete cooperation to the SAR team. However, our priority has always been the well being of the family members of our passengers and the crew on board.

Video:

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

French satellite spots potential debris from missing flight MH 370

According to Reuters, “new French satellite images show possible debris from a missing Malaysian airliner deep in the southern Indian Ocean, Malaysia said Sunday (March 23), adding to growing signs that the plane may have gone down in remote seas off Australia.”

According to the Malaysian authorities:

“This morning, Malaysia received new satellite images from the French authorities showing potential objects in the vicinity of the southern corridor,” the Malaysian Transport Ministry said in a statement. “Malaysia immediately relayed these images to the Australian rescue co-ordination center.”

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Therefore the remote southern Indian Ocean area (around 1,500 miles southwest of Perth, Western Australia) is the most likely resting place for missing Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 370 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (man 28420) (above) with its missing passengers and crew members.

However no confirmed debris has been found from the missing Boeing 777 9M-MRO. The southern Indian Ocean is one of the most remote spots in the world. If you wanted to get lost or disappear, this would be the area.

Here is the press briefing statement yesterday (March 22) of  Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport:

Introductory statement

Diplomatic, logistical and technical efforts continue in the search for MH370. As we intensify the search and rescue operations, the overall emphasis remains the same: using all available means to narrow the search areas in both corridors.

1. Operational update

In the northern corridor, in response to diplomatic notes, we can confirm that China, India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Laos, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan have verbally informed the search and rescue operation that based on preliminary analysis, there have been no sightings of the aircraft on their radar.

With respect to the southern corridor, today two Chinese Ilyushin IL-76s will arrive in Perth to begin operations. The Shaanxi Y-8 which arrived yesterday will be operating from Subang air base in Malaysia. China is also sending an additional two ships from the Andaman Sea to join the five Chinese ships already in the southern corridor. Two Indian aircraft, a P-8 Poseidon and C-130 Hercules, arrived in Malaysia at 18:00 last night to assist with the search.

HMS Echo is currently in the Persian Gulf and is en route to the southern corridor. The ship is equipped with advanced sensors that allow it to search effectively underwater.

2. Australian search area

Five aircraft and two merchant ships were involved in the search and rescue operations in the vicinity of the objects identified by the Australian authorities, which are approximately 2,500km southwest of Perth. Despite improved visual search conditions yesterday, there were no sightings of the objects of interest.

Operations continue, and today they plan to search an area of approximately 10,500 square nautical miles.

The Rescue Co-ordination Centre Australia anticipates that 6 aircraft, 4 military and 2 civilian, will be visually searching the area. Two merchant vessels will also be present during search operations, and HMAS Success was due to reach the search area at 14:30 today.

Generally, conditions in the southern corridor are very challenging. The ocean varies between 1,150 metres and 7,000 metres in depth. In the area where the possible objects were identified by the Australian authorities there are strong currents and rough seas.

A cyclone warning has been declared for Tropical Cyclone Gillian, which is located in the southern corridor. Very strong winds and rough seas are expected there today.

3. Family briefings

The briefing for families in KL yesterday went well. The briefing in Beijing, however, was less productive. Despite the best intentions, I understand there were tense scenes.

I have received a report from the Malaysian high-level team, as well as a copy of the declaration from the Chinese families. I have asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the authorities in China, to investigate what happened.

We will continue to engage with the families. We are working hard with Chinese authorities and the Chinese working group to create a more conducive environment for the briefings. I have instructed my technical team to do a review of both briefings so that we can improve them.

We appeal to all parties to be understanding during this extraordinary and difficult time. My pledge to all the families, wherever they are, is the same: we will do everything in our power to keep you informed.

4. Transcript

The original transcript of the conversation between MH370 and Malaysian air traffic control is with the investigations team, where it is being analysed.

As is standard practice in investigations of this sort, the transcript cannot be publicly released at this stage. I can however confirm that the transcript does not indicate anything abnormal.

5. Cargo manifest

On the matter of MH370’s cargo, the cargo manifest is with the investigations team, and will be released in due course.

Preliminary investigation of the cargo manifest has not shown any link to anything that might have contributed to MH370’s disappearance.

As was stated yesterday, all cargo carried on MH370 was in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organisation and International Air Transport Association standards.

6. Concluding remarks

Over the past two weeks, the search for MH370 has taken many twists and turns. From satellite images to eyewitness accounts, we have followed every lead and investigated every possibility.

Today we are focused on leads from the satellite images announced by the Australian authorities on Thursday. We continue to be updated by the Australian authorities on an hourly basis.

I know this rollercoaster has been incredibly hard for everyone, especially for the families. We hope and pray this difficult search will be resolved, and bring closure to those whose relatives were on board.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all 26 countries who are with us in this effort; from ordinary people to the highest levels of government.

I would also like to pay special tribute to the men and women from all countries who are putting themselves in harm’s way in the search for MH370.

As we speak, people are sailing through a cyclone to help find the missing plane. We are immensely grateful to all our partners for their efforts.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

China claims to have spotted a new large floating object on satellite images

Malaysia logo-1

China, according to CNN,  has discovered “new satellite images showing a large object floating in the southern search area” of the Indian Ocean.

The object is 22 meters long and 30 meters wide, (72 feet by 98 feet), Hishammuddin Hussein announced. He told reporters he’s just gotten the information, and China will release more details in “coming hours.”

Unfortunately the Chinese satellite image is four days old!

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

The search for MH 370 debris has also been hampered by the ever-worsening ocean debris problem.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

It is now night time in Perth, Australia and the southern Indian Ocean.

So far no debris from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (man 28420) has been discovered and verified.

Meanwhile Malaysia Airlines addressed the issue of lithium batteries with this statement:

Malaysia Airlines wishes to clarify that the lithium ion batteries carried onboard MH370 on 8 March 2014 was in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) requirements where it is classified as Non Dangerous Goods.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Two objects are spotted floating in the Indian Ocean

Malaysia logo-1

Two large objects have been spotted by satellite floating in the Indian Ocean around 1,500 miles southwest of Perth, Australia. It will take several days to confirm if they are from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370.

The Australia Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is leading this search of the Indian Ocean.

Read the full story from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines issued this statement concerning the debris:

1.    Australian satellite images

At 10:00 this morning, the Prime Minister received a call from the Prime Minister of Australia, informing him that ‘two possible objects related to the search’ for MH370 had been identified in the Southern Indian Ocean. The Australian authorities in Kuala Lumpur have also briefed me on the situation, and the Australian Foreign Minister has spoken to the Foreign Minister of Malaysia.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) continues co-ordinating the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft within Australia’s search and rescue area, with assistance from the Australian Defence Force, the New Zealand Air Force, and the US Navy.

AMSA’s Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RCC) Australia has received satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search for MH370.

RCC Australia received an expert assessment of commercial satellite imagery today. The images were captured by satellite. They may not be related to the aircraft.

The assessment of these images was provided by the Australian Geospatial Intelligence Organisation as a possible indication of debris southwest of Perth.

As a result of this information, four aircraft have been re-orientated to an area 2,500 kilometres southwest of Perth.

A Royal Australian Air Force P-3 Orion aircraft arrived in the area at about 10:50AM.

Another 3 aircraft have been tasked by RCC Australia to the area, including a second RAAF Orion, a Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion, and a US Navy P-8 Poseidon.

The Poseidon was expected to arrive early this afternoon. The second RAAF Orion was expected to depart RAAF Base Pearce, Perth, mid-afternoon. The New Zealand Orion was due to depart this afternoon.

An RAAF C-130 Hercules aircraft has been tasked by RCC Australia to drop datum marker buoys to assist in drift modelling. They will provide an on-going reference point if the task of relocating the objects becomes protracted.

A merchant ship that responded to a shipping broadcast issued by RCC Australia on Monday was also expected to arrive in the area this afternoon.

The Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Success is en route to the area but is some days away. The ship is well equipped to recover any objects located and proven to be from MH370.

Every effort is being made to locate the objects seen in the satellite imagery. It must be stressed that these sightings, while credible, are still to be confirmed.

2.    Assets deployed

The search for MH370 is a multinational effort. I will now give you an update on the assets which have been deployed.

During the course of this operation, the Chief of the Defence Force has spoken to his counterparts from countries including:

•        Australia

•        China

•        India

•        Indonesia

•        Japan

•        Maldives

•        Nepal

•        New Zealand

•        Singapore

•        Thailand

•        Vietnam

•        The UK

•        And the USA.

All were very supportive, and all offered their assistance. As the focus of the search has moved from the South China Sea and Straits of Malacca to the northern and southern corridors, our international partners have continued to provide whatever support they can.

A number of assets have been deployed at different phases of the search and rescue operation.

Currently, there are 18 ships, 29 aircraft and 6 ship-borne helicopters deployed along the northern and southern corridors, as follows:

Aircraft

In the northern corridor, there are 4 aircraft:

•        2 from Malaysia

•        1 from Japan

•        And 1 from the US.

In the southern corridor, there are 25 aircraft:

•        2 from Malaysia

•        5 from Australia

•        3 from China

•        4 from Indonesia

•        2 from India

•        4 from Japan

•        1 from New Zealand

•        2 from South Korea

•        1 from the UAE

•        And 1 from the USA.

Ships

All 18 ships are in the southern corridor:

•        6 from Malaysia

•        1 from Australia

•        5 from China

•        And 6 from Indonesia.

This deployment includes 6 helicopters:

•        3 from Malaysia, and 3 from China.

Until we are certain that we have located MH370, search and rescue operations will continue in both corridors. I can confirm that Malaysia is sending 2 aircraft to Kazakhstan, and the UK is planning to send 1 ship to the southern corridor.

In addition to the assets I just listed above, a number of countries in the northern corridor are carrying out search and rescue operations within their own territory:

•        China is using every means possible, including 21 satellites, to search the area within its borders, and is ready to send more ships and aircraft wherever they are needed.

•        In Cambodia, 4 helicopters are conducting search operations within Cambodian territory.

•        The Laos Air Force is carrying out search operations within Laos.

•        Singapore are using their International Information Fusion Centre, where a Malaysian representative is stationed, to notify mariners and help with the search.

•        The Thai military are conducting search operations in the northern part of Thailand with all available aircraft.

•        And Vietnam are conducting search operations within their territory using an unspecified number of aircraft.

Together this represents a significant international force deployment. I am thankful for the co-operation of our partners as we continue to focus on finding MH370.

3.    Family care

The high-level team I announced yesterday is leaving for Beijing this evening.

I would also like to confirm that representatives from the Malaysian government spoke to the families who were present here yesterday.

In addition, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China, and the Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia, will lead a briefing today for the Chinese families who are here in Kuala Lumpur.

Also in attendance will be the Department of Civil Aviation, the Armed Forces, the Royal Malaysia Police, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and MAS. A similar briefing will also be held for the other families.

4.    Concluding remarks

For families around the world, the one piece of information they want most is the information we just don’t have: the location of MH370.

Our primary focus has always been to find the aircraft. And with every passing day, our efforts have intensified.

Yesterday I said that we wanted to reduce the area of the search. We now have a credible lead. There remains much work to be done to deploy the assets. This work will continue overnight.

 

 

Search Area:

Search Area Indian Ocean

Photo courtesy of AMSA:

Satellite imagery provided to Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) of objects that may be possible debris of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in a revised area 185 km (115 miles) to the south east of the original search area in this picture released by AMSA March 20, 2014. A Search aircraft are investigating two objects floating in the southern Indian Ocean off Australia that could be debris from a Malaysian jetliner missing for 12 days with 239 people on board, officials said on Thursday. REUTERS-Australian Maritime Safety Authority-Handout via REUTERS

Was missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 sighted in the Maldives?

Maldives Map

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) with 239 souls on board may have been sighted on the remote island island of Kuda Huvadhoo in the Maldives (south-southwest of Male). Islanders spotted a Jumbo Jet with a red stripe flying low over their island at 6:15 am local time on March 8. The distance from the last reported position of MH 370 to Kuda Huvadhoo is around 2,000 miles.

Read the full account from the International Business Times: CLICK HERE

Read another report from Sydney Morning Herald: CLICK HERE

Map Google Maps.

Meanwhile Malaysia Airlines has issued this 21st media statement:

The passengers and crew on-board flight MH 370, their families and loved ones, have been at the center of every action Malaysia Airlines has taken as a Company since we first learned the flight disappeared.

The Malaysian Government is coordinating an unprecedented international search effort covering 2.24 million square nautical miles. With this simply enormous area we cannot determine how long it will take to locate the aircraft.

Considering these challenges, our caregivers have informed the family members of the missing passengers and crew that we have taken the decision to continue to provide information and assistance through the further enhanced Family Support Centre (FSC) based in Kuala Lumpur which has been operational since March 8, 2014 rather than the various Family Assistance Centers (FACs).

The Family Support Centre will continue to proactively provide relatives waiting for news at home with daily updates. In addition to personal phone calls, Malaysia Airlines will now send out SMS blasts with brief updates to the families. We have also set up an email address for family members as a channel for them to communicate with us. Updates via the Malaysia Airlines website are also available.

This Family Support Centre will be open round-the-clock and will house family support representatives trained to assist those who are seeking answers and further information. The representatives will be divided into four shifts with ten staff handling each shift. This will ensure that someone is available to attend to the families at all times. The centre will also have Mandarin speaking personnel.

Below are the toll-free numbers that has been set-up for eight different countries. A back-up number is also given to the families in the event they are not able to reach the toll-free number. The number to call to get in touch with this centre is +603 8777 5770.

Countries            Toll-free number

China                    10-800-130-1364 (South China) / 10-800-713-1404 (North China)
Malaysia                 1800-81-4819
Indonesia               001-803-015-203-7708
Australia                1800-198-163
US/Canada             877-504-4210
New Zealand          080-045-4029
India                     000-800-100-3449
France                   080-091-2622

All this while, the families have always been briefed first, followed by the media and then the public whenever new information surfaces. However, the often conflicting information and wild speculation have caused a major distress to the families.

The Airline continues to work closely with the authorities and we appreciate the help we are receiving from all local and international agencies during this critical and traumatic period.

Our top priority remains to provide any and all assistance to the families of the passengers and crew.

Bloomberg Businessweek explores the question of whether Malaysia (the government and the airline) can restore its public image.

Read the article: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines (aircraft slide show): AG Slide Show

If Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH 370 went into the southern Indian Ocean, it’s a lonely place, was the captain politically motivated?

MH 370 in southern Indian Ocean

Investigators are now looking at the possibility that Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 made either a north turn or a south turn once it was in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The satellite data revealed by Prime Minister Najib suggests the airliner could be anywhere in either of two arcs: one stretching from northern Thailand to the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, or a southern arc heading from Indonesia to the vast southern Indian Ocean. If the missing flight with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) and 239 souls on board took a turn to the south it could have not picked a more desolate spot on earth except for the polar regions.

According to this article by Reuters, a plane could crash in this area without a ship spotting it or even radar picking it up. In short, it is a lonely place.

So far no trace of missing flight MH 370 has been found. Searchers are now switching to the Indian Ocean but it is a vast area and will be a daunting task. The aircraft could have flown another 2,200 miles after it was last spotted off the northwest coast of Malaysia. That leaves a lot of ocean territory (see map above) to search.

According to Reuters in the article, “The southern Indian Ocean, between Indonesia and Australia, is broken up only by the Australian territories of Christmas Island, home to asylum seeker detention facilities, and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands some 2,000 km (1,240 miles) northwest of Perth. The Cocos Islands have a small airport to serve the islands’ combined population of just 3,000 people.

Further south, the only habitation is the handful of research stations on the scattering of tiny French-run islands including Kerguelen – a group of volcanic outcrops between Africa, Australia and Antarctica. While home to several powerful astronomical scanners and radar, there is no airport and it is seen extremely unlikely the aircraft could have made it that far.”

In summary, MH 370 may never be found and could become the biggest aviation mystery in history. Let’s hope there is some closure for the grieving families.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile investigators are also searching for a motive and an answer to the large “why?”. Investigators are investigating the backgrounds of the pilots, crew members and passengers on board missing flight MH 370.

Was this disappearance meant to embarrass the ruling government of Malaysia which has not done a good job of handling this crisis?

Reuters reports the captain (who had a simulator in his home) had postings on his Facebook page suggesting the pilot was a political opponent of the ruling Malaysian government coalition that has ruled Malaysia for the past 57 years since independence.

Read the full article from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Timeline of events: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines issued this 19th media statement late yesterday:

Further to the statement by the Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak earlier today into the ongoing search for Flight MH 370, Malaysia Airlines has shared all available information with the relevant authorities since the moment we learned that the aircraft had disappeared, in the early hours of Saturday 8th March. This includes the very first indications that MH370 may have remained airborne for several hours after contact was lost, which the Prime Minister referred to today.

This is truly an unprecedented situation, for Malaysia Airlines and for the entire aviation industry. There has never been a case in which information gleaned from satellite signals alone could potentially be used to identify the location of a missing commercial airliner. Given the nature of the situation and its extreme sensitivity, it was critical that the raw satellite signals were verified and analysed by the relevant authorities so that their significance could be properly understood. This naturally took some time, during which we were unable to publicly confirm their existence.

We were well aware of the ongoing media speculation during this period, and its effect on the families of those on board. Their anguish and distress increases with each passing day, with each fresh rumour, and with each false or misleading media report. Our absolute priority at all times has been to support the authorities leading the multinational search for MH370, so that we can finally provide the answers which the families and the wider community are waiting for.

We remain absolutely committed to sharing confirmed information with family members and the wider public in a fully open and transparent manner. However given the nature of the situation, the importance of validating new information before it is released into the public domain is paramount.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families of the 227 passengers and our 12 Malaysia Airlines colleagues and friends on board flight MH 370. They will remain at the center of every action we take as a company, as they have been since MH 370 first disappeared.

Today the airline issued this short statement:

The current general enquiry number +60378841234 for the MH 370 incident will change effective Monday, 17 March 2014 at 12.00 noon.

Moving forward, families of passengers and crew of MH 370 may call +603-87775770. This is a dedicated number for families only.

For media queries, kindly contact +603 8777 5698/ +603 8787 1276.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the passengers and our colleagues on board MH 370 as well as their families and loved ones.

The mystery of Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370 deepens

Andaman and Nicobar Islands Map

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 operated with Boeing 777-2H7 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) remains missing with no sign of debris. There are reports the the airliner may have flown for up to five hours after the after radar contact was lost (the transponder was turned off). The mystery is deepening and the search area is broadening once again.

According to Reuters, “military radar data suggests a Malaysia Airlines jetliner missing for nearly a week was deliberately flown hundreds of miles off course, heightening suspicions of foul play among investigators, sources told Reuters on Friday.

Analysis of the Malaysia data suggests the plane, with 239 people on board, diverted from its intended northeast route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and flew west instead, using airline flight corridors normally employed for routes to the Middle East and Europe, said sources familiar with investigations into the Boeing 777’s disappearance.

Two sources said an unidentified aircraft that investigators believe was flight MH 370 was following a route between navigational waypoints when it was last plotted on military radar off the country’s northwest coast.

This indicates that it was either being flown by the pilots or someone with knowledge of those waypoints, the sources said.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

If the Reuters report is correct, this means the aircraft was flying (for whatever reason) towards the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (see map above) or beyond into the Indian Ocean. This will probably broadened the search area towards and possibly into the Indian Ocean.

Oddly today (March 14), a 5.5 magnitude earthquake struck in the sea off the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the U.S. Geological Survey reported via CNN.

Another report also deepens the mystery. Chinese researchers have reportedly detected a “seafloor event” in the waters between Malaysia and Vietnam around 2:55 am on Saturday. This is about 72 miles (116 km) northeast of the last known position at 1:30 am.

Read the full report from the Indian Express: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines has issued this latest statement:

Malaysia Airlines reiterates that we will continue to give our full support in cooperating with the search and rescue mission which is coordinated by the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia (DCA) under the purview of the Ministry of Transport, Malaysia.

Malaysia Airlines is fully aware of the on-going media speculations and we have nothing further to add to the information we have already provided.

Our primary focus at this point in time is to care for the families of the passengers and crew of MH 370. This means providing them with timely information, travel facilities, accommodation, meals, medical and emotional support.

Malaysia Airlines will continue to provide regular updates to the general public via the media and our website on all matters affecting MH 370.

CNN Video: 9M-MRO is most likely at the bottom of the sea:

CNN Video: A tour of the Boeing 777 cockpit:

Malaysia Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Malaysia Airlines retires MH 370 and MH 371 flight numbers, 9M-MRO may have flown for four hours after losing contact, no debris found

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) has retired the affected flight numbers and issued this statement:

As a mark of respect to the passengers and crew of MH 370 on March 8, 2014, the MH 370 and MH 371 flight codes will be retired from the Malaysia Airlines’ Kuala Lumpur- Beijing-Kuala Lumpur route.

With effect from March 14, 2014, the new flight number to replace MH 370 and MH 371 will be:-

MH 318 – Kuala Lumpur – Beijing

MH 319 – Beijing – Kuala Lumpur

There are no changes to the frequency of our services and we will continue to operate double daily services to Beijing.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families of our colleagues and passengers of MH 370.

In other news, the Wall Street Journal is reporting U .S. investigators helping to probe the disappearance of MH 370 now believe the Boeing 777-200 may have flown for four hours after losing contact with air traffic controllers due to the engine date. If true, this would dramatically require the widening of the search area.

However this information seems to be in dispute, as Reuters is reporting Malaysia Airlines has said previously that the Rolls-Royce Trent engines stopped transmitting engine condition reports  when contact with the missing 9M-MRO was lost.

Meanwhile planes and ships were searching an area of the South China Sea where Chinese satellite images had shown what could be aircraft debris, but had so far searchers have not found any debris from MH 370.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

The Australian explores the question of whether the crew passed out due to oxygen starvation because of a possible fuselage leak. The Australian  looks at Helios Airways crash in Greece. Read the full article: CLICK HERE

In summary, there is a lot of conflicting information and reports out there and really no one as this time knows the true location of the lost Boeing  777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420). No debris from the aircraft has been located despite some interesting reports. The direction the aircraft may have taken after losing radio contact and the distance it may have flown are all in dispute among the parties involved. Hopefully we will soon have closure on this tragedy.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Where in the world is 9M-MRO? As incredible as it seems in this modern age, this missing airplane is becoming reminiscent of the long-time search for the much smaller Amelia Earhart’s missing Beechcraft in the South Pacific Ocean.

Malaysia Airlines:

Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 was possibly headed towards the Indian Ocean

Malaysia logo-1

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 with 239 people on board remains lost and has become a bigger mystery. The search area has now been broadened. Malaysia is now asking for international help, especially from Europe, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to review the conflicting radar data.

Malaysia Air Force chief has denied military and government reports the Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) turned around and headed west to the Malacca Strait although this area is now part of the official search area.

The transponder was apparently turned off when it apparently turned to the west.

In summary, no one knows for sure where flight MH 370 has gone and there has been no confirmed debris found from the flight. It remains a mystery.

Read the full report by the BBC: CLICK HERE

New Straits Times has been comprehensively covering this story – here are all of their local articles: CLICK HERE

Pictorial video from New Strait Times:

)

Questions and answers on the MH 370 disappearance from the New York Times: CLICK HERE

Time Magazine: 6 mysterious airplane disappearances in aviation history: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines has issued this statement:

Malaysia Airlines’ primary focus at this point in time is to care for the families of the passengers and crew of MH370. This means providing them with timely information, travel facilities, accommodation, meals, medical and emotional support. All these costs are borne by Malaysia Airlines.

We have deployed teams of caregivers consisting of trained MAS staff and volunteers from Mercy Malaysia and Tzu Chi Foundation. These caregivers are stationed at five different locations at Beijing and four different locations in Kuala Lumpur.

As of now, we have 115 family members in Kuala Lumpur and they are taken care of by 72 different caregivers. At least one caregiver is assigned to each family together with a Mandarin translator for the families from China.

The caregivers have been keeping the families updated on the search and rescue efforts as well as provide emotional support.

Equal amount of initial financial assistance are being given out to all families of passengers and crew over and above their basic needs. This amount is extended to families of all crew and passengers in Malaysia as well those from other nations.

We regret and empathise with the families and we will do whatever we can to ease.

 

 

Japan Airlines and S7 Airlines to expand their code share agreement

Japan Airlines (JAL) (Tokyo) and S7 Airlines (Novosibirsk), both members of oneworld®, have agreed to further expand the code share flights with adding 12 domestic destinations in Russia from March 19, 2014.

The new codeshare routes between Moscow (Domodedovo) and domestic cities in Russia includes Saint Petersburg, the second largest city in Russia, and also Sochi, which is the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games as well as other attractive cities. 

Routes between Moscow (Domodedovo) and domestic cities in Russia

 

・Moscow = St. Petersburg

・Moscow = Perm

・Moscow = Samara

・Moscow = Ufa

・Moscow = Kazan

・Moscow = Chelyabinsk

・Moscow = Yekaterinburg

・Moscow = Volgograd

・Moscow = Nizhny Novgorod

・Moscow = Krasnodar

・Moscow = Rostov

・Moscow = Sochi

* Code share flights are subject to government approval.

* All of the above flights are operated by S7.

* Flight schedule and dates are subject to changes. Please visit JAL website for the latest information.

Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. JAL-Japan Airlines’ Boeing 777-246 JA8985 (msn 27652) in the special Tokyo Disney Resort – 30th Anniversary livery taxies at Fukuoka.

JAL-Japan Airlines: AG Slide Show

S7 Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. S7 Airlines added its first Airbus A321, the pictured A321-211 VQ-BQH (msn 3070) in September 2013.

 

Emirates arrives in Boston

Emirates (Dubai) yesterday (March 10) launched its daily, nonstop service between Dubai and Boston. Boston becomes the airline’s eighth US destination and the 142th on its global network which links key tourism and trading destinations across six continents.

The inaugural flight EK 237 departed from Terminal 3, Dubai International at 09:45 hours, carrying a delegation of senior airline executives including: Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline; Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Executive Vice President & Chief Operations Officer; Hubert Frach, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President Commercial Operations West; and Hiran Perera, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Cargo Planning and Freighters.

Also travelling on the inaugural flight was a VIP delegation from the UAE including: His Excellency Abdulrahman Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber; His Excellency Mohammad Khamis Bin Harib Al Muhairi, Director General, The National Council of Tourism and Antiquities; Rahul Agarwal, Manager of Recruiting, McKinsey & Co; Chadi Chahine, Chief Financial Officer, Smith Nephew.

Emirates will operate daily flights between the two cities with a Boeing 777-200 LR (Longer Range) aircraft in a three-class configuration, offering eight seats in First Class, 42 in Business Class and 216 in Economy Class.

In addition to passengers, Emirates SkyCargo will operate bellyhold cargo space to help transport goods to and from Boston – such electronics, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, machine parts, leather products, consumer commodities, as well as New England’s finest lobster. Emirates SkyCargo can carry up to 15 tons per day.

EK 237 will depart Dubai at 09:45 and arrive in Boston at 15:15. The return flight, EK 238, will take off from Boston at 23:15 and land in Dubai at 19:30 the next day.  

Emirates began passenger services to America in 2004 with the launch of daily nonstop flights from New York JFK to Dubai, and now offers daily flights to Washington (Dulles), Houston (Bush Intercontinental), Dallas/Fort Worth, Seattle/Tacoma, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Emirates). Boeing 777-21H LR A6-EWB (msn 35573) approaches the runway at Washington’s Dulles International Airport (IAD).

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Did Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH 370 fly west into the Strait of Malacca?, Cathay Pacific flight reports metal objects floating in the water off the South China Sea near Ho Chi Minh City

MH 370 Malacca Strait Map

Malaysia’s military believes it traced the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 flight MH 370 into the Malacca Strait (northwest of Kuala Lumpur) according to this report by Reuters. According to the military, the aircraft changed course after passing over Kota Bharu and took a lower altitude and headed west to this large body of water (see map above).

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) is still missing with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board. The previous oil slick in the Gulf of Thailand (north of Kota Bharu) has been identified as not coming from the missing aircraft. No wreckage has been found in the Gulf of Thailand from the missing and presumed crashed airliner.

Meanwhile Malaysia has identified and issued photos of the two Iranians who used the stolen passports.

Read the full Reuters report: CLICK HERE

Video: Report on the two Iranians:

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Meanwhile the chief of Interpol says he does not believe the missing airliner was due to terrorism.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

The New York Times offers this “Questions and Answers” (to common questions) on the missing MH 370: CLICK HERE

A Cathay Pacific Airways flight has reported a relatively large metal debris area off the Vietnam coast near Ho Chi Minh City.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Map of the area where the Cathay Pacific Airways flight has reported the floating metal debris:

Malaysia-Vietnam Cathay Pacific Debris Map

At least two passengers used stolen passports to board Malaysia flight MH 370, U.S. Navy joins the search for the missing Boeing 777

Malaysia MH 370 Map-1

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 370 operated with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) still remains missing. However a vessel from Singapore participating in the search has found “suspicious objects” according to the Los Angeles Times. The objects have no yet been conformed as coming from the aircraft. 40 ships 22 airplanes are searching a larger area around the discovered oil slick (see above). The U.S. Navy has joined the search. There are also some indications that the aircraft may have turned around according to the radar records.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile at least two passengers travelled on flight MH 370 with stolen passports (some media reports have it at four passengers) adding to the suspicion of terrorism in bringing down the flight. According to CNN, the two passengers who used the stolen passengers appear to have purchased the tickets together. The passengers were using Beijing as a connection point for on-going travel to Europe.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

5 theories on what could have happened to MH 370 according to the The Straits Times: CLICK HERE

Malaysia logo-1

Malaysia Airlines issued this statement on March 9:

More than 24 hours after the lost of contact with Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370, the search and rescue teams are still unable to detect the whereabouts of the missing aircraft.

The airline is doing its utmost to provide support to the affected family members, this includes immediate financial aid.

The airline has deployed a team of 94 caregivers consisting of well-trained staff and also Tzu Chi Foundation members to provide emotional support to the families. The airline will also be deploying another set of caregivers to Beijing later today.

Last night, a Malaysia Airlines’ Senior Management team arrived at Beijing to address the media and met with family members. Families of affected passengers in Kuala Lumpur were also met by the team.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines will set up a command center at Kota Bharu, Malaysia or Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam as soon as the location of the aircraft is established and the airline will make the necessary arrangements.

The airline is continuously working with the authorities in providing assistance. In fearing for the worst, a disaster recovery management specialist from Atlanta, USA will be assisting Malaysia Airlines in this crucial time.

On Monday March 10 Malaysia Airlines issued this statement for the missing airplane:

The purpose of this statement is to update on emergency response activities at Malaysia Airlines.

On notification of the incident the following steps have been taken:-

The EOC:-

1. Activation of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in the early morning of 8 March 2014. The EOC is the central command and control facility responsible for carrying out emergency management functions at the strategic level during a disaster.

2. In addition to the EOC, various departments of Malaysia Airlines are also addressing to all the different needs during this crisis.

Family Management

1. Malaysia Airlines is working closely with the government of China to expedite the issuance of passports for the families intending to travel to Malaysia, as well as with the immigration of Malaysia on the issuance of their visas into Malaysia.

2. Malaysia Airlines is deploying an additional aircraft to bring the families from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur on 11 March 2014.

3. When the aircraft is located, a Response Coordination Centre (RCC) will be established within the vicinity to support the needs of the families. This has been communicated specifically to the families.

4. Once the Response Coordination Centre is operational, we will provide transport and accommodation to the designated areas for the family members.

5. Our oneworld partners have been engaged to help bring family members in other countries aside from China into Kuala Lumpur.

Search and Rescue

1. Malaysia Airlines has been actively cooperating with the search and rescue authorities coordinated by the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia (DCA) and the Ministry of Transport

2. DCA has confirmed that search and rescue teams from Australia, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, New Zealand and the United States of America have come forward to assist. We are grateful for these efforts.

We also want to address a few common queries from the media.

We are receiving many queries about how the passengers with the stolen passports purchased their tickets. We are unable to comment on this matter as this is a security issue. We can however confirm that we have given all the flight details to the authorities for further investigation.

We also confirm that we are making necessary arrangements for MH 370 passengers’ families from Beijing to travel to Kuala Lumpur. However, flight details of the families’ arrival are highly confidential. This is to protect the privacy and well-being of the families during this difficult time and to respect their space. Our position is not to reveal any information on the flight or movements of the families.

Malaysia Airlines’ primary focus at this point in time is to care for the families of the passengers and crew of MH370. This means providing them with timely information, travel facilities, accommodation, meals, medical and emotional support. The costs for these are all borne by Malaysia Airlines.

All other Malaysia Airlines’ flights are as per schedule. The safety of our passengers and crew has always been and will continue to be of utmost importance to us.

The airline continues to work with the authorities and we appreciate the help we are receiving from all local and international parties and agencies during this critical and difficult time.

Malaysia Airlines reiterates that it will continue to be transparent in communicating with the general public via the media on all matters affecting MH 370.

Video: Follow MH 370 on radar via Flightradar24:

CNN explores the question of question of why there so few facts for the missing 777: CLICK HERE

Map: Google Maps.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

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