National Airlines (5th) (formerly Murray Air) (Orlando) is celebrating the accomplishment of becoming the latest FAA designated Flag/Domestic Air Carrier. The airline issued this statement:
National Airlines is proud to announce that on February 28, 2014, the FAA approved National to become the United States’ newest Flag/Domestic air carrier. National Airlines has a long history of supporting governments and militaries around the world — by, among other things, flying ad hoc cargo shipments in and out of crisis areas and also operating charter passenger operations for sports teams in the United States, visitors to/from Cuba, and contractors traveling between the United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan. US Flag/Domestic authority will allow National Airlines to expand its services to include conducting scheduled passenger flights throughout the United States and across the globe. It also provides an opportunity for National Airlines to continue its support of the US government travelers under the Fly America Act, whereby US government funded travelers fly on US Flag Carriers whenever available.
National Airlines maintains the highest standards of safety, security, and compliance. “This is nowhere more important than in the Middle East, which has been a significant market for National Airlines,” said Glen Joerger, National Airlines’ President. “This operating authority will further strengthen our position as an emerging passenger carrier of choice for discerning customers seeking US Flag service in the region,” he added. “This tremendous addition to National’s operating certificate reinforces our corporate commitment to serve every facet of transportation and logistics for our key clientele around the globe,” continued Joerger.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-28A N176CA (msn 24543) prepares to land at Dubai.
Emirates (Dubai) today announced that it is launching a daily service to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Terminal 5 from August 5, 2014. The service will be operated by a Boeing 777-200 LR powered by GE90 engines.
Chicago will become the airline’s ninth gateway in the USA, following soon after the commencement of its services to Boston, Massachusetts on March 10, 2014.
Emirates is the largest operator of Boeing 777 aircraft in the world, with a fleet of 122 passenger and 10 freighter Boeing 777s currently in its fleet, and is a launch customer of Boeing’s new 777X having placed the largest single order in commercial aviation history for 150 of them valued at $76 billion in November 2013.
The new service will operate as flight EK 235 from Dubai International Airport at 09:45 hours (9:45 am) arriving into Chicago at 15:25 (3:25 pm). The return flight, EK 236 will depart O’Hare at 20:35 hours (8;35 pm), arriving into Dubai at 19:10 (7:10 pm) the next day.
Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-21H LR (Longer Range) A6-EWF (msn 35586) returns to the Dubai hub and base.
Emirates (Dubai) has provided this unique inside look at how it operates the world largest state-of-the-art aircraft paint shop:
Emirates, a global connector of people and places, operates the world’s largest fleets of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s, and to serve these aircraft, it runs the world’s largest state-of-the-art aircraft paint hangar owned by an airline.
Located at Dubai International Airport, Emirates’ paint hangar is more than twice the size of a football field, and has been designed to deliver quality that exceeds even the standards of aircraft manufacturers.
In 2013, Emirates’ advanced paint hangar completely stripped 21 aircraft (or nearly 10% of its fleet) of exterior paint and gave them a brand new coat. It took 6,550 hours in total, or 273 days and nights of non-stop stripping and repainting, to complete these “make-overs”. In addition to these major projects, the paint shop was kept fully engaged with over 60,000 other paint touch-up jobs on the exteriors and interiors of the aircraft, as well as cabin items.
“Our aircraft livery is one of the most recognisable and visible aspects of our brand. It is what people see in the sky, and the first thing our passengers see at their boarding gates. We take pride in maintaining our aircraft to the highest possible standards, and it is important our planes look pristine on the outside as well as on the inside,” said Adel Al Redha, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Emirates.
“It’s not just about looking good. The paint coat has to withstand fierce weather conditions, including severe wind, bitter cold and searing heat, and an exterior coat that is clean of debris and imperfections improves aerodynamics and reduces fuel consumption. Emirates already flies a young and efficient fleet, but with fuel prices at consistently high levels, every little bit of efficiency counts,” he added.
Emirates previously had a minor paint booth in its Dubai hub to manage minor jobs while outsourcing the big projects to an external supplier. Building its own paint hangar has helped the airline to better control total quality, and co-ordinate flight operations scheduling. Since the paint hangar started operations in August 2010, it has completed 59 full aircraft “strip-and-repaint” projects and several hundred thousand aircraft component paintings.
After every seven to eight years in service, Emirates fully strips its aircraft of their exterior colour and gives them a brand-new coat. A Boeing 777 requires a team of 26 to 30 people for a full strip-and-repaint project, which is turned around in just 12 to 13 days.
Emirates’ paint hangar operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It employs highly skilled and specialised staff for this purpose, and uses the latest technologies and systems including fully-controlled environments that regulate temperature, humidity and airflow – all of which are critical factors for the perfect glossy coat.
Since the airline’s launch in 1985, all Emirates aircraft wear their white coat with the iconic golden Emirates letters and tail fin in the colours of the flag of the United Arab Emirates.
The branding underwent a subtle change only once in 2000. The flag was redesigned to appear as though it was flowing in the wind and the letters assumed the new Emirates typeface making them softer and more in-keeping with the Arabic calligraphy. The new look had a buoyant tone making it more contemporary, yet retained the classic look which had become well-known since 1985.
Emirates’ first A380, which entered service in August 2008, will be due for a full repaint in 2015. Emirates operates the largest fleet of A380 with 44 in total and an additional 96 on order. It also operates the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 777s with 132 in service and 210 more on order.
Copyright Photo: Emirates:
Emirates (Dubai) will serve its Moscow route from Dubai with a double daily Airbus A380 service starting on August 1.
This second A380, which will operate as flight EK 133/134, replaces the existing Boeing 777 operation and increases seat capacity on the route by 15%.
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A6-EEL (msn 133) arrives in Los Angeles.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Emirates.
Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa) is planning to place an order for 10 to 20 narrow body jetliners according to this report by Reuters. The African carrier is studying proposals from Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier. The company has traditionally ordered from Boeing.
The damaged 787 at Heathrow Airport returned to service in December.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Ethiopian is still operating older Boeing 757-200s on some routes. Part of the new order would replace these aircraft. Boeing 757-231 ET-ALZ (msn 30319) arrives at Dubai and was originally delivered to TWA on August 16, 199 as N720TW.
National Airlines (5th) (Orlando) is a familiar airline name in South Florida. Three previous airlines with that name have operated at Miami International Airport (MIA). The current National Airlines, now based in Florida, is now operating Cuban passenger charter flights for the various Cuban charter companies at MIA.
Travel to Cuba is booming. According to this report by Brandenton.com, 394 charter flights departed MIA for Cuba during December 2013. Charter flights to Cuba are also permitted from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Tampa. National has joined a group of airlines that operate these special flights.
Before the Castro regime took over Cuba in 1959, Havana was Miami’s largest international destination.
The Bradenton.com explains the Cuban Charter business: CLICK HERE
In other news, National Airlines on February 1 will offer daily public charter service from Dubai International Airport to forward operating bases in Bagram, with service to Kandahar and Bastion in Afghanistan coming soon.
Check the schedule below for current flight options:
|Origin||Destination||Schedule *||Flight #||Days||Effective|
|Bagram, AF (OAI)||06:25 – 09:40||NCR998||Tu||01Feb14 to 30Jun14|
|Bagram, AF (OAI)||06:45 – 10:00||NCR998||M, W, Th, F, Sa||01Feb14 to 30Jun14|
|Bagram, AF (OAI)||06:50 – 10:05||NCR998||Su||01Feb14 to 30Jun14|
|Dubai, UAE (DXB)||11:30 – 14:10||NCR999||Tu||01Feb14 to 30Jun14|
|Dubai, UAE (DXB)||11:50 – 14:30||NCR999||M, W, Th, F, Sa||01Feb14 to 30Jun14|
|Dubai, UAE (DXB)||11:55 – 14:35||NCR999||Su||01Feb14 to 30Jun14|
Top Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-236 N169CA (msn 25592) arrives at Dubai International Airport (DXB).
Bottom Copyright Photo: L. Apso. National Airlines is now basing Boeing 757-28A N176CA (msn 24543) in Miami and it is seen on the former National Airlines (later Pan Am) Concourse F at Miami International Airport.
Emirates’ (Dubai) has reviewed its performance and accomplishments in 2013. The airline issued this statement:
Emirates aircraft flew around the world more than 18,000 times in 2013, underlining its position as a global connector of people and places according to the carrier.
Figures show the airline’s fleet travelled more than 751 million kilometers throughout the year. Taking the earth’s circumference at the equator as 40,075 kilometers, this translates into the equivalent of 18,753 circumnavigations.
A total of 164,635 flights were conducted, carrying over 43 million passengers.
Emirates Flight Catering loaded nearly 46 million meals aboard Emirates’ flights departing Dubai. A particularly memorable day for the catering team was 20th December 2013 when a staggering 157,308 meals were produced, breaking their previous record of 147,722 on 1st March 2013.
Throughout the year, the airline has received 24 new aircraft – a combination of Airbus A380s, Boeing 777s and 777 freighters. Nine new passenger routes were launched; Warsaw, Algiers, Tokyo Haneda, Stockholm, Clark, Milan-New York, Conakry, Sialkot and Kabul. Hanoi, Chicago, Kano in Nigeria and Quito in Ecuador have been launched as cargo only destinations.
The first major milestone of 2013 was January’s opening of Concourse A, the world’s first purpose built A380 concourse. The giant building with 20 A380 gates is over 800m long and houses the largest airline lounges in the world.
April saw the landmark commercial deal with QANTAS Airways come to life. The new partnership brings the total combined number of weekly flights from Dubai to Australia to 98.
In May, The Emirates Group, which includes DNATA, announced its 25th consecutive year of profit, despite the continuing tough international business environment. For the 2012/13 financial year, the group posted a AED 3.1 billion ($845 million US) net profit, up 34 per cent from the previous financial year.
August brought the fifth anniversary of Emirates’ A380 operations. At the five year mark, its A380 fleet had carried more than 18 million passengers on over 45,000 flights. Earlier this month, the double decker, offering more than 400 hours of Hollywood movies, was deployed to Los Angeles, creating the world’s longest A380 service in operation at 16 hours and 20 minutes.
In September, Emirates’ fans were given an unprecedented look behind the scenes of its home base at Dubai International. The ten part series, “Ultimate Airport Dubai,” charts the incredible story of Dubai’s aviation sector on National Geographic Channel. The documentary can also be viewed on Emirates’ ice Digital Widescreen.
Emirates has won a host of awards during 2013 – most notably the Skytrax “World’s Best Airline” award. Close to 18,000 cabin crew from 137 nationalities help to deliver the world renowned on board service.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDZ (msn 107) arrives back at the Dubai hub.
Flydubai (Dubai) and Boeing (Chicago) announced an order for 75 737 MAX 8s and 11 Next-Generation 737-800s, valued at $8.8 billion at list prices. In addition, the airline retains purchase rights for 25 more 737 MAXs.
The order was first announced as a commitment at the 2013 Dubai Airshow, making it Boeing’s largest single-aisle airplane order in the Middle East.
The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. Airlines operating the 737 MAX will see a 14 percent fuel-use improvement over today’s most fuel-efficient single-aisle airplanes.
Development of the 737 MAX is on schedule with firm configuration of the airplane achieved in July 2013. First flight is scheduled in 2016 with deliveries to customers beginning in 2017. Already a market success, the 737 MAX has accumulated more than 1,700 orders to date and will have 8 percent per-seat lower operating costs than the future competition.
Flydubai placed its first order for 50 Next-Generation 737-800s at the 2008 Farnborough Air Show and took delivery of its first airplane in 2009. The airline was the first in the world to debut the Boeing Sky Interior, an enhanced onboard experience. To date, flydubai has grown its fleet to 34 Next-Generation 737-800s.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Flydubai currently operates 35 Boeing 737-800s. Boeing 737-8KN A6-FEA (msn 40254) arrives back at the Dubai hub.
National Geographic Magazine (Washington) through its National Geographic Channel has introduced a new TV series called “Ultimate Airport Dubai” which will focus on the operations of fast-growing Dubai International Airport (DXB), the home of Emirates.
Ultimate Airport Dubai: Episode 1The new concourse is trialed to test if it’s on schedule to receive 15 million passengers and 33 of the mighty 389-million-dollar Airbus A380s.
Ultimate Airport Dubai: Episode 2The construction team behind the new concourse feel the heat as more than 200 volunteers test whether it’s ready to be used by the public.
Ultimate Airport Dubai: Episode 3The pressure is on as engines, cargo and construction materials all go missing – pushing an airport already near-capacity to breaking point.
Ultimate Airport Dubai: Episode 4Over a million passengers pass through Dubai International Airport every week. Meet the people behind the scenes making everything run smoothly.
Ultimate Airport Dubai: Episode 5Over a million passengers pass through Dubai International Airport every week. Meet the people behind the scenes making everything run smoothly.
Ultimate Airport Dubai: Episode 6Duty Manager Khalil has to help a family stranded in the terminal, while Controller Nargis must free a cargo of meat stuck in the desert heat.
Ultimate Airport Dubai: Episode 7David Robson must greet some temperamental VIP passengers and Dispatcher Nizel has a problem when a brand-new A380 goes missing.
Ultimate Airport Dubai: Episode 8Passenger Operations has to cope with a group of stranded tourists, and a missing passenger puts a curfew-critical flight to Sydney in jeopardy.
Ultimate Airport Dubai: Episode 9Although Dubai International tries to prepare for every scenario, more than one million passengers each week inevitably bring unusual challenges.
Ultimate Airport Dubai: Episode 10John has seconds to drive on runways looking for debris and engineer Mian must work out why a jet won’t move after its parking brake is released.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Completing its final approach into DXB is Emirates’ Boeing 777-31H ER A6-EGZ (msn 41081).
Watch Season 1, Episode 1:
Emirates (Dubai) will become the first airline to operate a regularly scheduled service to London Gatwick airport with an Airbus A380.
Starting March 30, 2014, the airline’s 489-seat A380 will replace the Boeing 777-300 ER on EK flight 09/10, bringing a 36 percent increase in capacity on one of its three daily flights.
Emirates will start operating scheduled A380 services to Zurich and Barcelona from January and February 2014 respectively.
Flight EK 009 will depart Dubai at 1500 (3 pm) and arrive at London Gatwick Airport at 1930 (7:30 pm). The return flight, EK 010, will leave London Gatwick at 2115 (9:15 pm) and arrive in Dubai at 0720 (7:20 am) the next day.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDH (msn 025) taxies at Amsterdam with special Expo 2020 Dubai UAE markings.
Emirates (Dubai) on December 4 launched its newest route to Kabul, Afghanistan.
Kabul is the 138th destination of the fast growing airline and Afghanistan is the 78th country now served by the carrier.
The route is operated by an Airbus A340-500 configured in a three cabin configuration, offering 12 First Class, 42 Business Class and 204 Economy Class seats. Emirates is the only airline which offers First Class from Dubai to Kabul.
EK 640 will depart Dubai daily at 09.55 hours and arrive in Kabul at 13.15. The return flight, EK 641 will leave Kabul at 15.30 hours and arrive back in Dubai at 18.00.
The day before on December 3 Emirates celebrated the launch of Airbus A380 service to Los Angeles, becoming the world’s longest A380 service in operation.
The landmark flight, crossing the Russian Federation, the North Pole and Eastern Canada, has a published duration of 16 hours 20 minutes, more than enough time to delve into over 400 hours of in-flight Hollywood movies.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A340-541 A6-ERC (msn 485) arrives at Zurich.
Video: The A380 inaugural flight to Los Angeles:
Qatar Airways (Doha) has placed a firm order for five new Airbus A330-200 Freighter aircraft in an agreement signed at the Dubai Airshow 2013. These new aircraft will complement the airline’s rapidly growing network, which includes more than 40 routes that have dedicated freighter services. Included in the order are eight additional A330-200F options – which would make today’s deal potentially worth over $2.8bn at list prices for a total of 13 aircraft. These aircraft on order will complement three A330-200Fs Qatar Airways already operates since earlier this year.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Qatar Airways Cargo Airbus A330-243F A7-AFY (msn 1386) arrives in Dubai.
Flydubai (Dubai) and Boeing (Chicago) today announced a commitment for up to 100 737 MAX 8 airplanes and 11 Next-Generation 737-800s on the opening day of the Dubai Airshow.
The commitment from the airline of the emirate of Dubai, valued at $11.4 billion at list prices (including orders and purchase rights), is the largest ever Boeing single-aisle airplane purchase in the Middle East. The investment continues Flydubai’s legacy operating an all-Boeing 737 fleet.
The 737 MAX will build on the Next-Generation 737′s popularity and reliability while delivering customers unsurpassed fuel efficiency in the single-aisle market. The 737 MAX 8 is expected to be 8 percent per-seat more fuel efficient than the future competition.
Development of the 737 MAX is on schedule with firm configuration of the airplane achieved in July 2013. First flight is scheduled in 2016 with deliveries to customers beginning in 2017. Already a market success, the 737 MAX has accumulated more than 1,600 orders to date.
Flydubai placed its first order for 50 Next-Generation 737-800s in 2008. The airline took delivery of its first airplane in 2009 and was the first airline in the world to debut the Boeing Sky Interior, an enhanced onboard experience. To date, flydubai has taken delivery of 33 Next-Generation 737-800s.
In the past two years, Flydubai has more than doubled the number of destinations it flies to and has around 1,200 weekly flights. flydubai carried 5.1 million passengers in 2012 and has become the second largest carrier, by passenger numbers, operating out of Dubai International.
In only four and a half years flydubai has, in this short time, built up a network of more than 65 destinations, served by a fleet of 33 Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The remaining aircraft from its 2008 order will be fulfilled by 2015. It achieved profitability in its third year of operation. It continues to focus on the needs of its passengers most recently launching Business Class services. It made this service available, for the first time, on several of the 46 previously underserved destinations it flies to.
The first aircraft, Next-Generation Boeing 737-800s from this order, will be delivered between 2016 and 2017. Deliveries of the first Boeing 737 MAX will commence in the second half of 2017 and continue until the end of 2023. As one of the most reliable and efficient single-aisle aircraft models of its type currently available today it will support Flydubai’s continued growth.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8KN WL A6-FDP (msn 40243) arrives at the Dubai hub.
Emirates Airline (Dubai) has placed an additional order for 50 Airbus A380 aircraft. The order was signed at a ceremony at the 2013 Dubai Airshow witnessed by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive Emirates Airline and Group and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO.
Following delivery of their first A380 in July 2008, Emirates has now taken delivery of 39 A380s. Their 39th A380 is on Airbus’ static display at the 2013 Dubai Airshow. All Emirates’ A380s are powered by Engine Alliance GP7200 engines.
Since first entering service in 2007, the A380 has joined the fleets of ten world class carriers. The aircraft flies 8,500 nautical miles or 15,700 kilometres non-stop, carrying more people at lower cost and with less impact on the environment. The spacious, quiet cabin and smooth ride have made the A380 a firm favorite with both airlines and passengers, resulting in higher load factors wherever it flies.
The total A380 fleet has accumulated over one million flight hours in almost 140,000 commercial flights. To date some 50 million passengers have already enjoyed the unique experience of flying on board an A380. Every five minutes, an A380 either takes off or lands at one of the 34 airports where it operates today and the network is constantly growing.
On this historic “airline order milestone” day, Emirates issued this statement:
Emirates airline has again rewritten all records in civil aviation with an order for 150 Boeing 777X, comprising 35 Boeing 777-8Xs and 115 Boeing 777-9Xs, plus 50 purchase rights; and an additional 50 Airbus A380 aircraft.
The agreement was signed today (November 17) at the Dubai Air Show by His Highness (H.H.) Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, with Jim McNerney, Boeing Chairman, President and CEO, and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus’ President and CEO. The signing was witnessed by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
Emirates’ Boeing 777X order is the single largest aircraft order by value in the history of U.S. commercial aviation, and the additional A380 order cements Emirates, already the largest operator of this aircraft type, as the principal customer for the A380 worldwide. These latest orders bring Emirates’ total firm order book to 385 aircraft (excluding options or purchase rights), comprising 214 Boeing 777s, 101 Airbus A380s, and 70 A350s, at a total estimated value of US$ 166 billion.
Emirates’ Boeing 777X
“The announcement today includes the purchase of 300 GE9X engines from General Electric, to power the 150 Boeing 777X aircraft ordered. Taking into account the U.S. Government jobs multiplier (every $1 billion in US aerospace exports supports 5,747 American jobs), today’s historic order will protect and support over 436,000 jobs in U.S. aerospace manufacturing – not only at Boeing and GE facilities, but with hundreds of other suppliers,” said Sheikh Ahmed.
Emirates’ 777-8X and 777-9X will be a combination of two and three-class configurations, with the 777-8X potentially seating 342 passengers in 3 classes, and the 777-9X seating over 440 passengers in 2 classes.
“Emirates today operates more than one in every 10 Boeing 777 aircraft built. It is the workhorse of our fleet. What the 777X does, is offer us a flying range comparable with the 200LRs and 300ERs, but with more passenger capacity at potentially up to 18% more fuel efficiency,” said Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline.
Emirates’ unwavering commitment to the Boeing 777 dates back to 1996. Today, Emirates is already the largest operator of the 777 with 131 in operation, and the only airline to fly all variants in the 777 family. At the 2011 Dubai Air Show, Emirates ordered 50 Boeing 777-300ERs with options for 20 more at a total value of US$ 26 billion (AED 95.4 billion). It was then a record breaking aircraft order– the single largest by any airline with Boeing in dollar value.
Emirates’ Airbus A380s
Emirates currently operates the world’s largest fleet of A380s with 39 in service.
Its order for 50 additional A380 aircraft today brings Emirates’ total A380 order book to 101 aircraft, worth US$ 45 billion. A combination of two and three-class cabin configuration, the first 25 of these latest A380 aircraft orders are scheduled to be delivered before the first quarter of 2018.
Emirates has been associated with Europe’s largest passenger aircraft since April 2000 when it became the first airline to announce plans to purchase the super jumbo. As the largest customer for the A380, Emirates is therefore the largest supporter of European aerospace manufacturing jobs tied to the A380 programme which is spread across Airbus’ manufacturing centres in France, Germany, England and Spain.
Follow-up article: From Reuters: Emirates was concerned that Airbus was considering slowing down A380 production because of lagging new orders and took a look at how many additional A380s it could physically take at its Dubai base and stated it could have ordered 10 more! This order now ensures the A380 production rate will continue and probable A380 profit for Airbus in 2015 or 2016. Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Analysis: Can other airlines, especially European and North American carriers, compete against the fast growing Gulf carriers? CNN Money explores this question: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Emirates’ Airbus A380-861 A6-EEC (msn 110) with special “Expo 2020 Dubai UAE” stickers completes its final approach into London (Heathrow).
Video: An inside look at the Emirates Operations Control Room, Dubai.
Gulf Air (Bahrain) has clarified its position regarding its involvement in a new domestic airline in Saudi Arabia. The flag carrier is acting as a consultant to the Al Qahtani Group. The airline has issued this statement:
Gulf Air, Bahrain’s national carrier, has issued a statement clarifying the recent awarding of two licenses by the General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia (GACA) to operate domestic services within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Gulf Air did not bid and has not been awarded domestic traffic rights to operate in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The airline’s involvement is in a consultative capacity only to the Al Qahtani Group, a consortium of privately owned companies based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Accordingly, Gulf Air’s name and brand remain independent of the venture.
An initial contract signed last year appointing Gulf Air in an advisory role to support the Al Qahtani Group’s bid for national traffic rights in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has concluded with the consortium being awarded one of the two licenses. A second consulting agreement between Gulf Air and the Al Qahtani Group is currently being negotiated whereby Gulf Air will support the Al Qahtani Group in obtaining its Saudi Arabian Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC).
Gulf Air has been operating to Saudi Arabia for over 63 years, amassing extensive operational and logistical knowledge of the Kingdom. As such, the national carrier is in a position to support Al Qahtani obtain its Air Operator’s Certificate and further facilitate its entrance into the market.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 A9C-AH (msn 4218) with Grand Prix 2012 markings arrives at Dubai.
Qatar Airways‘ (Doha) grounded Boeing 787-8 A7-BCB (msn 38320) was returned to service yesterday (July 31) after being grounded by the airline since July 21 due to unspecified “technical issues” according to this report by Reuters. A7-BCB successfully operated a round trip between Doha and Frankfurt.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. A7-BCB arrives at Dubai.
Kuwait Airways (Kuwait City) will expand and modernize its fleet with a new tentative order with Airbus according to Muscat Daily. Subject to finalization, Kuwait Airways intends to acquire 10 A350-900s, options for five more or five of the larger A350-1000s. The MOU also includes 15 A320neo aircraft and options for five more of the same type or A321neo aircraft. Deliveries are due to start in 2019.
In the interim period, the airline will lease 22 Airbus A320s and A330s with deliveries starting in late 2013. Additionally two A321-200s will be leased starting in July 2014.
The new aircraft are expected to replace the aging five Airbus A300B4-605Rs, three A310-300s, three older A320s, four A340-300s and the two Boeing 777-200 ERs.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. The Airbus A310s will be one of the types to be retired. A310-308 9K-ALA (msn 647) prepares to land at Dubai.
Emirates Airline (Dubai) unveiled new expansion plans for Eastern Europe, with the launch of daily services to Kyiv Boryspil International Airport in Kiev from January 16, 2014, marking its first route to the Ukraine. The new route will be operated with operated by an Airbus A340-500 equipment. Kiev will be the 35th passenger route to Europe for Emirates.
In other news, Emirates has announced it will deploy its airbus A380s from Dubai to Mauritius starting on December 16.
The aircraft will operate as flight EK 701 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays and EK 3701 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, departing from Dubai International Airport at 03.10 hours and arriving in Mauritius at 09.40. The return flight EK 702 and EK 3702 will depart Mauritius’ Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport at 18.20 hours and arrives in Dubai at 01.10 the next day.The announcement of this daily service follows the special one-off A380 flight that the airline operated to Mauritius in March 2013 to celebrate the island’s 45 years of independence.
Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa) has announced that it has added South America, the fifth continent in its route network, with the launching of new services to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as of today – July 1, 2013.
The inaugural flight to these destinations is operated using Ethiopian Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, the most technologically advanced commercial aircraft offering unparalleled on-board comfort to passengers with high ceiling, the biggest windows in the sky, greatly reduced noise, unique lighting system and higher level of humidity.
Ethiopian flight to Brazil are operated through its second hub in Lomé, Togo, three times a week. The addition of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro will bring the number of its international destinations across five continents to 75. The flights will be the only connection between West Africa and Brazil.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner ET-AOQ (msn 34745) arrives in Dubai.
Oman Air (Muscat) and Boeing (Chicago) today announced an order for five Boeing Next-Generation 737-900 ER airplanes at the 2013 Paris Air Show. The order, previously unidentified on the Boeing Orders and Deliveries website, is valued at $473 million at current list prices.
With this order, Oman Air becomes the first customer in the Arabian Gulf region to order 737-900 ERs. Currently, the airline operates a fleet of 15 Boeing Next-Generation 737-800s and two 737-700s. With this new order, the airline now has a backlog of six 737-800s and five 737-900 ERs. In addition, Oman Air has six Boeing 787-8s on order.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Operated by Travel Service Airlines in full Oman Air colors, Boeing 737-86N OK-TVU (msn 38025) prepares to land at Dubai.
SriLankan Airlines (Colombo) has signed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Airbus for six A330-300s and four A350-900s. The MOU will have to be finalized into a firm contract.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. SriLankan already operates the Airbus A330-200. The A330-300 and A350-900 will be new types for the flag carrier. Airbus A330-243 4R-ALB (msn 306) prepares to land at Dubai.
The Emirates Group (Emirates Airline) (Dubai) has announced it 25th consecutive year of profit and company-wide growth ending the year in a strong position despite continuing high fuel prices and a weak global economic environment. The financial year also ended with some very positive newly reached capacity milestones throughout the business.
The company posted an AED 3.1 billion ($845 million) net profit, up 34 per cent from last year. Even with external challenges, the Group’s revenue reached AED 77.5 billion ($21.1 billion) an increase of 17 per cent over last year’s results. The Group’s cash balance grew by 53 per cent reaching a solid AED 27.0 billion ($7.3 billion).
“Achieving our 25th consecutive year of profit in a financial year with our largest ever increase in capacity across the network is an achievement that speaks to the strength of our brands and our leadership,” said His Highness (H.H) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group.
“Throughout the 2012-13 financial year the Group has collectively invested over AED 13.8 billion (US$ 3.8 billion) in new aircraft, products, services and handling facilities as well as the newly opened JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai. This investment has resulted in an increased customer base and a rise in global brand awareness. Every dirham that we earn is strategically placed back into our business and it is this tenacious approach that has allowed the Group to maintain such strong and consistent profitability under challenging circumstances.”
Despite a difficult operating environment, the Group continued to invest in and expand on its employee base, increasing its overall staff count by 12 per cent to 68,000.
Emirates continued with its growth plan and during the financial year saw the largest increase in capacity in the airline’s history receiving a staggering 34 new aircraft, the highest in any single year and an unprecedented achievement. These aircraft were funded by raising more than $7.8 billion, also a first, through a variety of financing structures. Overall capacity measured in Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKMs) increased by 5.5 billion ton-kilometers. Other significant capacity increases include launching 10 new destinations across six continents, shipping more than 2 million tonnes of cargo for the first time and carrying an additional 5.4 million passengers over last year, the highest increase in a financial year.
In the 2012-13 financial year Emirates’ fuel bill increased by 15 per cent over last year to reach AED 27.9 billion ($7.6 billion). With total operating costs increasing by 16 per cent compared to a revenue increase of 17 per cent over last year.
“Managing volatile exchange rates, coupled with a persistently high fuel bill accounting for 40 per cent of our total expenditures, has required continued strong resolve,” added Sheikh Ahmed. “Even with these lingering challenges we continue to grow and remain profitable despite the industry norms because we continue to rely on our proven business model and understanding of the marketplace.”
“Staying the course, our strategy for growth has reaped high benefits this past financial year, which has been our strongest ever in relationship to capacity growth,” said Sheikh Ahmed. “Emirates seat load factor over the last three years has been 80 per cent despite our increase in capacity by 44 per cent during the same period, showing the continued global demand for our product. In addition our capacity measured in terms of Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKMs), which includes passenger and cargo capacity, crossed the 40 billion tonne-kilometres mark, another first for Emirates.”
Highlighting its sound financials and investor confidence, Emirates raised more than AED 28.6 billion (US$ 7.8 billion) in new funding mainly to secure its on-going fleet expansion, a record amount for the airline. This impressive total included US$ 587.5 million financing for additional A380’s with a bond that used the debt capital market in the U.S., a first for a non-U.S. airline in years. Emirates also issued a 10-year amortised Sukuk for US$ 1 billion and raised US$ 750 million with a 12-year amortised bond matched to the payment cycle for the aircraft. It further includes more than AED 20 billion (US$5.4 billion) raised through finance and operating leases.
“We move into the new financial year with confidence and a clear vision of where we are headed. We understand that succeeding in this industry requires determination and we are unapologetic about our drive to be the best,” added Sheikh Ahmed. “We strive to provide superior customer experiences and as our customers’ expectations increase so do the expectations we set for ourselves. With the help of our 68,000 strong multicultural work force we have no doubt that the year ahead will again be more profitable than the last.”
Emirates revenue reached a record high of AED 73.1 billion ($19.9 billion) growing by 17 per cent when compared to the 2011-12 financial year. Although the average price of jet fuel did not increase over last year, it remains high and has impacted Emirates’ bottom line with the airline’s profit at AED 2.3 billion (US$ 622 million) representing an increase of 52 per cent over last year’s results.
Carrying a record 39.4 million passengers, an increase of 16 per cent, Emirates logged a robust Passenger Seat Factor, at 80 per cent, remaining consistent with last year’s results. With an increase in seat capacity-Available Seat Kilometres (ASKMs) of 18 per cent the result highlights a strong consumer desire to fly on Emirates’ state-of-the-art aircraft.
Passenger yield remained steady with 30.5 fils (8.3 US cents) per Revenue Passenger Kilometre (RPKM)
Revenue generated from across Emirates’ six regions continues to be well balanced, with no region contributing more than 30 per cent of overall revenues. East Asia and Australasia remained the highest revenue contributing region with AED 20.9 billion (US$ 5.7 billion) up 15 per cent from 2011-12. Europe, up 18 per cent to AED 20.1billion (US$ 5.5 billion) and the Americas up 24 per cent to AED 8.3 billion (US$ 2.3 billion) saw the most significant growth, reflecting new destinations as well as increased frequency and capacity to these regions.
Across the rest of the globe Emirates saw strong revenue increases from West Asia and the Indian Ocean up 13 per cent to AED 8.0 billion (US$ 2.2 billion), Gulf/Middle East up 13 per cent to AED 7.1 billion (US$ 1.9 billion) and Africa with AED 6.7 billion (US$1.8 billion) in revenue, up 10 per cent.
Emirates premium seat factor remained strong despite the global financial uncertainty. Premium and overall seat factor for the airline’s flagship Airbus A380 aircraft outperformed the network, highlighting the continued demand for the product from passengers.
With a further 198 aircraft on order worth over $71 billion, combined with the airline’s increasing worldwide passenger traffic, Emirates’ is set to continue to drive considerable economic growth in the countries that it serves.
Forging ahead with its intricately planned expansion, Emirates received 34 new wide-body aircraft during the year including 20 Boeing 777-300 ERs, 10 Airbus A380s and 4 Boeing 777 LRFs compared with last year’s 22 aircraft. With an increased fleet, Emirates launched 10 new destinations in 2012-13 including Ho Chi Minh City, Barcelona, Lisbon, Erbil, Washington, DC, Adelaide, Lyon, Phuket, Warsaw and Algiers.
Looking forward to 2013-14, Emirates has to date announced four new routes; Haneda, Clark in the Philippines, Stockholm and Milan to New York.
New A380 destinations for the airline in 2012-13 included; Amsterdam, Melbourne, Singapore and Moscow. Bringing the total number of A380 destinations to 21. In addition, a second A380 was deployed on the existing Paris and New York routes, making both now a double daily A380 service. Two of our aircraft to London Heathrow were also upgraded to A380s, making all five daily flights now A380s.
Focusing on our customer touch points, Emirates opened three new dedicated airport lounges during the year including Milan and the new First Class and Business Class Concourse A facilities at Dubai Airport, which are among the largest in the world, bringing the total number of Emirates lounges to 35. The existing Business Class lounge in Dubai Airport’s Concourse C was also refurbished to provide passengers with an enhanced experience.
Defying the industry trend, the 2012-13 financial year has been a strong one for Emirates SkyCargo who for the first time reported a revenue over AED 10 billion reaching AED 10.3 billion ($2.8 billion) mark, an 8 per cent increase over last year.
Emirates SkyCargo’s tonnage increased 16 per cent reaching a remarkable 2.1 million tonnes in a shrinking airfreight market, highlighting its ability to grow revenues against the industry norm. This year, freight yield per Freight Tonne Kilometer (FTKM) decreased by 6 per cent.
Contributing 15 per cent of Emirates’ total transport revenue Emirate SkyCargo continues to play an integral role in the company’s expanding operations.
At the end of the financial year, Emirates SkyCargo freighter fleet totalled 10 aircraft – eight on operating lease and two on wet lease.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDZ (msn 107) with the special Expo 2020 Dubai UAE markings arrives at the Dubai hub.
Qatar Airways (Doha) today (May 1) resumed Boeing 787-8 operations on a flight from Doha to Dubai. The airline also stated it will receive compensation from Boeing due to the grounding according to Reuters. CEO Al Baker also criticized the grounding and blames social media for forcing the grounding.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Boeing 787-8 A7-BCA (msn 38319) arrives at Dubai.
Video: A peak at the Qatar 787 before it entered original service:
Cargolux Airlines International (Luxembourg) issued its financial statement for 2012:
At the April 24 annual General Meeting, the shareholders of Cargolux Airlines International S.A. approved the audited Financial Statements for the financial year ended December 31, 2012.
The steep decline in air cargo markets at the end of 2011 continued into 2012 not only for Cargolux, but for the industry as a whole. Depressed demand coupled with continued overcapacity resulted in significant pressure on yields and load factors for all freight operators.
Despite an improvement in late 2012, Cargolux recorded an overall loss of $35.1 million on revenues of $1,738.9 million. This loss, however, is markedly lower than the $57.0 million loss budgeted by the airline for the 2012. With the improvement in demand experienced in the last quarter of 2012 and the positive volume growth experienced by the airline for the first quarter of 2013 versus 2012, Cargolux remains cautiously optimistic for the current year. ‘Considering the state of the industry and the economic difficulties worldwide, Cargolux fared better than anticipated in 2012, that gives me hope for the current year,’ said Paul Helminger, Chairman of the Board of Directors.
In 2012, Cargolux carried 645,759 tons of cargo on its worldwide network. The fleet consisted of a mix of Boeing 747-400 and 747-8 freighters. With the new 747-8F gradually replacing the 747-400F, the airline operated eleven 747-400F and six 747-8F at the end of December 2012. Four Boeing 747-8 freighters joined the fleet during the year and additional deliveries are expected in 2013. In total, Cargolux will receive 13 units of the advanced freighter.
Cargolux has implemented a new business plan designed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the airline with a return to profitability in 2014.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Boeing 747-8R7F LX-VCE (msn 35810) approaches Dubai International Airport (DXB) for landing.
Qatar Airways’ (Doha) Airbus A350 and A380 fleets will offer both Mobile OnAir and Internet OnAir. In total, over 150 Qatar Airways’ aircraft will have OnAir connectivity, including its new Boeing 777-300 ERs (see video below) and 787s.
According to the airline, Qatar Airways’ passengers have the choice of using either the GSM network or Wi-Fi. They can use their mobile phones and tablets for calls, texting, emailing, updating social media and surfing the Internet. It is very simple to use, with billing working in exactly the same way as international roaming. They can also access the Internet using any Wi-Fi enabled device.
Qatar Airways has 10 Airbus A380s on order and three options, with deliveries starting in January 2014. The airline also has orders for 43 Airbus A350-900s and 37 A350-1000s.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Qatar Airways has been operating OnAir’s GSM on its Airbus A320s for over three years. A320-232 A7-ADG (msn 2121) arrives on the short flight from Doha at Dubai International Airport.
Emirates Airline (Dubai) will launch a direct nonstop service between Milan (Malpensa) and New York (JFK), the airline’s only trans-Atlantic service, from October 1, 2013.
In addition to the existing passenger market between Milan and New York, Emirates has timed its flight schedule to ensure maximum connectivity for other key feeder markets. Customers looking to fly on the airline’s award-winning product will be able to seamlessly connect from points all over the U.S., including the West Coast, taking advantage of Emirates’ partnership with JetBlue, and across Europe, maximizing the airline’s frequent flyer partnership with easyJet.
“Operating a trans-Atlantic route has been on our agenda for some time. Having carefully monitored traffic flows we have identified strong demand for both a direct connection and, importantly, for the Emirates product. The route is currently underserved, particularly with a strong premium product offering this is where we see a clear opening for Emirates. We intend to capitalize on this opportunity, stimulating further demand and encouraging additional traffic flow in both directions,” said Tim Clark, President Emirates.
Operated by a Boeing 777-300 ER, the flight will be an extension of one of Emirates’ existing three daily, Dubai to Milan flights. The service will originate in Dubai with passengers then able to enjoy a stopover in Milan en-route to New York. On the return flight, passengers will have the option of stopping in Milan before continuing on to Dubai. This one-stop service has proved popular on other Emirates’ routes, giving passengers the opportunity to experience a new destination or to break their journey on longer trips.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Boeing 777-31H ER A6-ENA (msn 41082) arrives back at the Dubai base.
Oman Air (Muscat), the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman has announced, effective on March 1, 2013, the successful launch of its new joint venture freighter operation partnership with DHL.
Oman Air Cargo has signed an exclusive Block Space Agreement with DHL for utilizing DHL’s capacity in both directions of its operation between Muscat (MCT) and Dubai (DXB).
Oman Air Cargo has been rapidly growing since its launch in 2009, making significant inroads into online and off-line markets. Further to the current partnership with DHL on the DXB-MCT-DXB route, Oman Air Cargo is looking at widebody capacity opportunities in partnership with other operators and airlines, connecting from airports in Muscat and Salalah, as part of its expansion program.
DHL will operate a Boeing 757-200 PCF on a weekly schedule into Muscat, a partnership between DHL and Oman Air Cargo.
The new service will operate every Friday, using DHL’s Boeing 757-200 PCF aircraft, with flights from Dubai to Muscat departing at 16.30 and arriving at 17.30, and flights from Muscat to Dubai departing at 18.30 and arriving at 19.30. Flight capacity stands at 25,000kgs/150m3.
Top Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Oman Air added four Embraer ERJ 175s for its regional passenger routes. Embraer ERJ 170-200STD (ERJ 175) A40-ED (msn 17000354) arrives at Dubai.
Bottom Copyright Photo: DHL.
TNT Express (Hoofddorp), the parent of TNT Airways (Liege), announced today an extensive reorganization plan to go it alone after its takeover by UPS was rejected by the European Commission. The downsizing will result in a loss of 4,000 jobs as it will now concentrate on serving mainly its European routes. The struggling company needs to save approximately $286 million by 2015.
Read the analysis by Reuters: CLICK HERE
Read the official statement by the company: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ole Simon. Some of the long-range aircraft are likely to be dropped from the fleet with this downsizing. Operated by Southern Air for TNT Airways, Boeing 777-FHT N778SA (msn 39286) prepares to touch down at Dubai International Airport.
TAROM (Romanian Air Transport) (Bucharest) is set to restore service (three roundtrips per week) on the Bucharest-Dublin route on May 1 after 12 years according to Airline Route. The restored route will be operated with Boeing 737-700s.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Boeing 737-78J YR-BGH (msn 28438) approaches Dubai International Airport for landing.
Air India Express to be one of the first airlines to open the new Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar
Air India Express (Kochi) will be one of 10 airlines that will open the new Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar on April 1 according to The Times of India. The opening will be a soft opening to gradually open the new airport. Qatar Airways (Doha) will not move to the adjacent new airport until the end of the year. Therefore for approximately nine months there will be two airports in Doha.
According to the report, the other airlines opening the new airport will include Air Arabia, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Flydubai, Iran Air, Nepal Airlines, PIA-Pakistan International Airlines, RAK Airways, Syrian Air and Yemen Airways.
Read the full Times of India report: CLICK HERE
Read more about the new airport from HOK: CLICK HERE
Courtesy of HOK:
Top Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Boeing 737-8HG WL VT-AYA (msn 36337) in the Ellora elephant statue tail motif arrives at nearby Dubai.
Map: Google Maps. The new airport is adjacent to the old airport and was built on reclaimed land.
Boeing (Chicago) believes the grounded 787 could be flying “within weeks” with a fortified power pack that would eliminate the possibility of a battery fire according to this report by Reuters and statement by Boeing. This assumes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (Washington) will approve the final process and fix after testing which it has approved.
Boeing issued this statement as an update:
Boeing has announced that a comprehensive set of improvements that will add several layers of additional safety features to the lithium-ion batteries on 787 commercial jetliners are in production and could be ready for initial installation within the next few weeks. New enclosures for 787 batteries also are being built and will be installed in airplanes in the weeks ahead.
These improvements, which continue to undergo extensive certification testing, will allow operators to resume commercial flights with their 787s as soon as testing is complete and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other international regulators grant their final approval.
The improvements include enhanced production and operating processes, improved battery design features and a new battery enclosure.
“As soon as our testing is complete and we obtain regulatory approvals, we will be positioned to help our customers implement these changes and begin the process of getting their 787s back in the air,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “Passengers can be assured that we have completed a thorough review of the battery system and made numerous improvements that we believe will make it a safer, more reliable battery system.” Battery system changes include changes to the battery itself, the battery charging unit and the battery installation.
Earlier this week the FAA approved Boeing’s certification plan, which lays out the discrete testing to be done to demonstrate that the battery improvements address the conditions laid out in the Airworthiness Directive that has suspended 787 commercial operations.
Development Team Created Solution
The enhancements to the battery system address causal factors identified by the Boeing technical team as possible causes of battery failure. The technical team’s findings also were verified by an independent group of lithium-ion battery experts from a number of industries, universities and national laboratories.
“We’ve come up with a comprehensive set of solutions that result in a safer battery system,” said Mike Sinnett, vice president and chief project engineer, 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We have found a number of ways to improve the battery system and we don’t let safety improvements go once they are identified. We incorporate them into our processes and products.”
Enhanced Production Controls and Operating Processes
The first layer of improvements is taking place during the manufacture of the batteries in Japan. Boeing teamed with Thales, the provider of the integrated power conversion system, and battery maker GS Yuasa to develop and institute enhanced production standards and tests to further reduce any possibility for variation in the production of the individual cells as well as the overall battery.
“We’ve all developed a better understanding of the sensitivities of this technology to variations during the manufacturing process,” said Sinnett. “And we all feel the need to increase monitoring of this process on an ongoing basis.”
Four new or revised tests have been added to screen cell production, which now includes 10 distinct tests. Each cell will go through more rigorous testing in the month following its manufacture including a 14-day test during which readings of discharge rates are being taken every hour. This new procedure started in early February and the first cells through the process are already complete. There are more than a dozen production acceptance tests that must be completed for each battery.
Boeing, Thales and GS Yuasa have also decided to narrow the acceptable level of charge for the battery, both by lowering the highest charge allowed and raising the lower level allowed for discharge. Two pieces of equipment in the battery system – the battery monitoring unit and the charger are being redesigned to the narrower definition. The battery charger will also be adapted to soften the charging cycle to put less stress on the battery during charging.
Improved Battery Design Features
Changes inside the battery will help to reduce the chances of a battery fault developing and help to further isolate any fault that does occur so that it won’t cause issues with other parts of the battery.
To better insulate each of the cells in the battery from one another and from the battery box, two kinds of insulation will be added. An electrical insulator is being wrapped around each battery cell to electrically isolate cells from each other and from the battery case, even in the event of a failure. Electrical and thermal insulation installed above, below and between the cells will help keep the heat of the cells from impacting each other.
Wire sleeving and the wiring inside the battery will be upgraded to be more resistant to heat and chafing and new fasteners will attach the metallic bars that connect the eight cells of the battery. These fasteners include a locking mechanism.
Finally, a set of changes is being made to the battery case that contains the battery cells and the battery management unit. Small holes at the bottom will allow moisture to drain away from the battery and larger holes on the sides will allow a failed battery to vent with less impact to other parts of the battery.
New Battery Enclosure
The battery case will sit in a new enclosure made of stainless steel. This enclosure will isolate the battery from the rest of the equipment in the electronic equipment bays. It also will ensure there can be no fire inside the enclosure, thus adding another layer of protection to the battery system. The enclosure features a direct vent to carry battery vapors outside the airplane.
New titanium fixtures are being installed in the electronics equipment bays to ensure the housing is properly supported.
“Our first lines of improvements, the manufacturing tests and operations improvements, significantly reduce the likelihood of a battery failure. The second line of improvements, changes to the battery, helps stop an event and minimize the effect of a failure within the battery if it does occur. And the third line of improvements, the addition of the new enclosure, isolates the battery so that even if all the cells vent, there is no fire in the enclosure and there is no significant impact to the airplane,” said Sinnett.
Testing to gain FAA approval of the battery enhancements has already started, with the FAA’s permission.
During engineering testing, which occurs prior to certification testing, the team demonstrated that the new housing could safely contain a battery failure that included the failure of all eight cells within the battery. The “ultimate” load is the equivalent of 1.5 times the maximum force ever expected to be encountered during a battery failure. The housing easily withstood this pressure and did not fail until the pressure was more than three times the ultimate load.
Through another test, the team demonstrated that fire cannot occur within the new enclosure. Its design eliminates oxygen, making the containment unit self-inerting. Inerting is a step above fire detection and extinguishing as it prevents a fire from ever occurring. The design also vents all vapors by venting directly outside of the airplane rather than into the equipment bay.
“We put this new design through a rigorous set of tests. We tried to find a way to introduce a fire in the containment but it just wouldn’t happen. Even when we introduced a flammable gas in the presence of an ignition source, the absence of oxygen meant there was no fire.
“We drew from the new industry standard, DO311, established by RTCA, to establish our testing plan,” said Sinnett. “These standards weren’t available when we set the testing plan for the baseline battery and they helped us ensure the new design is robust and safe. We intend to show, during certification, that the 787 battery meets all objectives of DO-311 and only deviates from specific requirements where the 787-unique items are not covered by the standards.” RTCA is a not-for-profit organization that serves as a federal advisory committee in establishing guidelines for the aviation industry.
Working towards Resuming Flights
“We are following all of the necessary protocols to get our new design fully approved and properly installed so that we can help our customers start flying as soon as possible. We’re simultaneously moving out on an effort to resume deliveries but completing our certification work and getting the delivered fleet flying again is our first priority,” said Conner. “Our customers and their passengers have been incredibly patient as we have worked through this process and we thank them very sincerely for their continued support and confidence in the 787.
“The more-electric architecture of the 787 brings real value not just to the airlines but to our industry. By reducing fuel use, we are reducing our environmental footprint. This battery technology is an important part of the more-electric architecture, which is helping us to cut fuel use by more than 10 billion gallons of fuel over the life of this program.
“New technologies require extra attention and hard work, but the benefits are real.”
Read the full Reuters story: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Now grounded, Qatar Airways‘ Boeing 787-8 A7-BCL (msn 38330) completes its final approach into Dubai International Airport.
Emirates Airline (Dubai) on March 1 launched daily nonstop service from Dubai to Houari Boumediene Airport in Algriers. It is the 22nd gateway for Emirates in Africa and the airline’s 130th international destination. The new route will be operated with Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati. Airbus A330-243 A6-EKQ (msn 518) arrives at the Dubai hub.
Emirates Airline (Dubai) announced it will begin daily, non-stop flights to Clark International Airport, the airline’s second destination in the Philippines starting on October 1.
Emirates has been operating flights to Manila, the capital of the Philippines, since 1990 and, due to the demand, has continued to increase its flight frequency on the route to its current triple daily, nonstop service.
Clark International Airport is located in the province of Pampanga in Central Luzon, which is 80 kilometres to the north of Manila. Its strategic location means it has a catchment area of 17 million people.
The new route will be operated with two-class Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft. Flight EK 338 will depart Dubai at 0400 and arrive at Clark International Airport at 1640. The return flight, EK 339 will depart at 1835 and arrive at Dubai International Airport at 2305.
A government study estimated that there are 10 million Filipinos living outside the Philippines – about 10% of the country’s home population. The largest number of overseas Filipinos reside mainly in the United States. The region with the largest temporary overseas Filipino population is the Middle East with approximately 2.9 million Filipinos, with 680,000 living in the UAE.
Central Luzon is one of the leading growth regions in the Philippines and is host to the country’s premier economic zones – the Clark Freeport Zone and the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Boeing 777-31H ER A6-EGW (msn 35601) approaches Dubai International Airport for landing.
Bahrain Air (Bahrain) has suddenly ceased all operations. The airline declared voluntary bankruptcy and filed for liquidation on February 12, 2013. The airline operated a few days over five years and operated two Airbus A319s and two A320s. Bahrain Air was hurt badly by the previous Arab Spring demonstrations in Bahrain. The airline issued the following statement:
Statement from the Board of Directors of Bahrain Air
“Bahrain Air held an Extraordinary General Meeting today (February 12) at which the shareholders made the decision to announce the company’s immediate suspension of operations and to file for voluntary liquidation in accordance with the Kingdom of Bahrain’s Commercial Companies Law.
The company sustained considerable financial losses as a result of the unstable political and security situation in Bahrain. In 2011, during Bahrain’s State of National Emergency, the airline was instructed to suspend flights to several destinations, and also suffered from the lack of traffic to and from Bahrain, and from the restrictions on the Saudi Causeway. Despite the Royal Decree number 18 for 2011 Article 5/10 regulating land, sea and air transportation during Bahrain’s State of National safety which states that all affected parties will be fairly compensated, the airline, despite making official claims, has received no compensation.
The airline is now being required to make immediate payments on past government debts or face closure at the same time as having its scheduled operations, both destinations and frequencies, being reduced considerably by the Civil Aviation Affairs in the Ministry of Transportation. This effectively strangles the airline by simultaneously requesting payments and reducing its ability to generate the necessary revenues both to make these payments and to sustain long term profitability. The shareholders of the company have spared no effort to support the airline financially since its inception and to support the airline and Bahrain through the unrest in 2011. The airline has also spared no effort to negotiate a solution with the Minister of Transportation (who is also an active board member of Gulf Air). However, he has shown no inclination to provide a meaningful solution. His decisions to restrict route approvals have cost the airline BD 4.5 million in lost revenues over the last 3 months. The position of the Minister was made clear when, during a time of negotiation, he only extended the company’s AOC, after operational audits had been passed, for two months instead of one year. After meetings, the latest company proposal was forwarded last Thursday 7th February. During the EGM, a very negative response was received providing only minor route concessions in return for payments of over BD 4 million. In the circumstances, given the position of the Minister, the shareholders decided that had no option but to discontinue financial support and put the company into voluntary liquidation.
Today (February 12) is a sad day for all Bahrain Air shareholders and employees, and for our loyal and valued guests, and all those who valued the freedom of choice when making their travel plans. We also helped promote Bahrain as a business and leisure destination and Bahrain International Airport as a passenger hub in line with the Kingdom’s Economic Vision 2030. In doing so, we have demonstrated that it is possible to provide high quality and reliable scheduled airline services a fraction of the costs achieved by state airlines if fair practices and equal opportunities are rendered. We have created a proud legacy, with one of the best records for on time performance and value for money in the region. Finally, we would like to thank our staff for their hard working and lasting devotion to the cause of Bahrain Air.”
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Airbus A320-214 A9C-BAO (msn 4600) taxies to the gate at Dubai.
PIA-Pakistan International Airlines (Karachi) had an incident today at Muscat, Oman. Boeing 737-33A AP-BEH (msn 25504) operating flight PK 259 from Sialkot, Pakistan to Muscat suffered a rough landing on its arrival. The left main gear collapsed on landing. There were no injuries to the 108 passengers and crew members on board.
Read the full story from Gulf News: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. AP-BEH is pictured arriving at Dubai in 2010 before it was repainted in the current 2010 livery.
Emirates Airline (Dubai) expects a new version of the very successful Boeing 777 to be available to airline customers in six to nine months according to this report by Reuters. Emirates has stated it needs will need to replace its older 777s from 2017.
Currently Emirates operates a total of 122 Triple Sevens, including 777-200s, 777-200 ERs, 777-200 LRs, 777-300s, 777-300 ERs and 777F freighters.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Sleek Boeing 777-31H ER A6-EGX (msn 35602) arrives back at the Dubai hub.
Iran Aseman Airlines (Tehran) continues to operate the Boeing 727 as both a passenger aircraft and as a freighter, one of the last operators of the venerable trijet. The airline started operations in 1980. Iran is currently under international sanctions.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. The 175-seat Boeing 727-228 EP-ASB (msn 22082) operated a flight to Dubai today with passengers. The airframe was originally delivered new to Air France as F-GCDB on April 11, 1980 (almost 33 years ago)! The airliner has also flown with Air Charter and Euralair before Iran Aseman acquired the aircraft on October 7, 1994. In late 2012 the company repainted the aircraft adding a new blue tail with a new white tail logo. This 727 keeps on flying with passengers!
Iraqi Airways (Baghdad) on January 15, 2013 added its first two Airbus A320s. The pictured A320-214 YI-ARA (msn 5115) and YI-ARB (msn 5290) have joined the mainly Boeing fleet.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. A320-214 YI-ARA is captured arriving at Dubai today devoid of any color except the titles. Is a new livery coming for Iraqi?
Emirates Airline (Dubai) is supporting the United Arab Emirates’ bid for Dubai as the location of the 2020 Exposition (World’s Fair). Dubai is competing against Ayutthaya (Thailand), Izmir (Turkey), Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Yekaterinburg (Russia) for the final selection of the location. International Exhibitions Bureau (Bureau International des Expositions-BIE) will make the selection next year.
In the meantime the airline is adding adding “Expo 2020 Dubai UAE” stickers.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDS (msn 086) arrives at the Dubai hub with the special logo (click on the photo for the full size view).
Qatar Airways (Doha) on January 7 launched its first new route of 2013 with the introduction of scheduled services to Gassim in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Doha – Gassim route is being operated by Airbus A320 aircraft featuring 144 seats in a two-class configuration of 12 seats in First Class and 132 in Economy.
Over the next few months, Qatar Airways will launch scheduled flights to a number of destinations including Najaf, Iraq (January 23); Phnom Penh, Cambodia (February 20); Chengdu, China (March 19); Chicago, USA (April 10); and Salalah, Oman (May 22).
Qatar Airways has also announced a capacity increase to daily scheduled services on the Doha – Warsaw route, effective February 1.
The current four-times-a-week service is scheduled to move to a daily operation less than two months after the launch of flights to Poland’s capital city.
One of the world’s fastest growing airlines, Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 16 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 116 aircraft to 123 key business and leisure destinations worldwide.
In other news, on January 9, Qatar Petroleum (QP), Qatar Airways and Shell celebrated the first commercial introduction of a new aviation jet fuel – the first to be approved globally in over two decades. The innovative GTL Jet Fuel blended with Synthetic Parafinic Kerosene from the world’s largest Gas to Liquids plant – Pearl GTL in Qatar – is now flowing into fuel tanks at Doha International Airport.
An Airbus A340-600, flight QR 001 will make history by being the first to fly outbound from Doha International Airport, en route to London Heathrow using GTL Jet Fuel.
This is a significant milestone for the giant onshore Pearl GTL complex, which is jointly developed by QP and Shell and is the largest energy project in Qatar. Fully approved for use as an aviation fuel, GTL Jet Fuel is a blend of up to 50% GTL Synthetic Parafinic Kerosene (SPK) meeting the stringent requirements of ASTM-D-7566 and conventional crude oil-derived standard jet fuel (Jet A-1).
This product launch also marks the attainment of the highest stage of the so-called Fuel Readiness Level scale in the rigorous certification and qualification process of Fischer-Tropsch Synthetic Parafinic Kerosene blends with conventional Jet A-1 and creates a true ‘Drop In’ alternative fuel meeting the latest DEF STAN and ASTM international aviation standards.
As an alternative to conventional crude oil-derived jet fuel, GTL Jet Fuel can help diversify the aviation fuel supply chain and offers a number of attractive benefits for airlines and airports. The synthetic blend component – GTL kerosene – contains virtually zero Sulphur and has been shown to produce lower particulate emissions (very fine soot particles) than conventional crude oil-derived jet fuel. This means that once blended with conventional jet fuel to create GTL Jet Fuel, it can be attractive to airlines and airport authorities keen to improve local air quality at busy airports by reducing local emissions. GTL kerosene also has a higher energy density than conventional oil-based kerosene. This has the potential to reduce the engine maintenance requirements and the required fuel payload and aircraft may be able to better optimise the weight of fuel to cover the same distance.
GTL Jet Fuel from Pearl GTL plant is marketed by “Tasweeq” for use solely within Qatar. The first production cargo of GTL Jet Fuel left the Pearl GTL Plant on December 17, 2012 and will be first used in this inaugural flight departing Doha International Airport on January 9.
Shell is the largest foreign investor in Qatar investing up to $21 billion in the last 6 years. Qatar Petroleum and Shell delivered two of the largest energy projects in the world in Ras Laffan Industrial City. Pearl Gas to Liquids (GTL) is the world’s largest GTL plant and cements Qatar’s position as the GTL capital of the world. At an investment of $ 18 – 19 billion it is the largest single investment in the Shell Group’s global portfolio.
The Qatargas 4 Liquefied Natural Gas project (QP (70%) and Shell (30%)) combines Shell’s global leadership in LNG with Qatar’s position as the world’s largest LNG supplier.
Shell has established a world-class research and development facility and a learning centre, the Qatar Shell Research & Technology Centre, at the Qatar Science & Technology Park. Shell has a financial commitment to invest up to $100 million on programmes at the Centre over a 10-year period.
In 2010, Shell and PetroChina signed an agreement with QP to explore in the pre-Khuff interval in Block D. In December 2011 Shell and QP signed a HOA to jointly develop a world-class petrochemicals complex in Ras Laffan Industrial City.
In other news for the company, a Qatar Airways-flown A320 has made the carrier the world’s first to operate an aircraft into the Nepalese capital’s Tribhuvan International Airport within the Himalayan mountain range using a new navigation approach.
The milestone flight took place with the Doha-based airline’s A320 performing an RNP-AR (Required Navigation Performance – Authorisation Required) approach to landing. RNP-AR enables an aircraft to automatically fly accurate trajectories without relying on ground-based navigation aids, while also optimising airspace utilisation and reducing diversions in difficult weather conditions.
Located in Kathmandu, Tribhuvan International Airport has one of the world’s most complicated landing approaches due to surrounding challenging terrain at its location in the Himalayas. Flying an RNP-AR approach considerably reduces pilots’ workload and allows them to take full benefit of the advanced navigation equipment installed in the Airbus A320 to easily circumnavigate difficult terrain.
Qatar Airways partnered with Quovadis, the Airbus-owned flight operations services company, and the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal to design and implement the Kathmandu RNP-AR procedure.
Qatar’s New Doha International Airport will be renamed Hamad International Airport when the much delayed hub for Qatar Airways finally opens in the second half of 2013 according to article below. Qatar Airways will be the operator of the new airport which will allow the airline to expand operations.
Read the full report from ConstructionWeekOnline.com: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Airbus A320-232 A7-AHL (msn 4802) prepares to land at Dubai (other photos by Qatar Airways).
Finally, Qatar Airways has grounded its Boeing 787s but remains confident that the problems can be overcome. Watch the video interview by The Telegraph on a 787 flight from Doha to London:
Gulf Air (Bahrain) has announced a new restructuring plan. The changes include a realignment of its network (it has already closed eight routes), a simplified fleet (it is unspecified which types will be retired) and a “right-sizing” (reduction) of the workforce.
The company issued the following statement:
Following the appointment of a new Board of Directors in November last year, led by H.E. Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister, the Executive Restructuring Committee and the Gulf Air management have been working on a balanced restructuring strategy that will take the airline on a path towards sustainability and support the future economic development of Bahrain.
The strategy, which was announced today, aims at strengthening the national carrier’s core services by optimising its fleet and network, streamlining its organisational structure and re-engineering its internal processes to transform the airline into a more dynamic and efficient national carrier that will continue to serve the Kingdom of Bahrain and its customers.
Towards achieving this goal, certain decisive actions have to be taken in order to maintain the sustainability of the airline. The strategy aggressively addresses minimising losses and reinforcing the airline’s position as a key national infrastructure asset, while ensuring it remains to be the region’s most family and business friendly airline.
Announcing the details of the new strategy H.E. Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister said, “Gulf Air is a key national infrastructure asset and provides business links which are important for wider economic development. In order to best position the airline for future growth and ensure it remains integral to the Kingdom’s evolving business requirements, the airline’s management, with the support of the Board of Directors, are committed to implementing a restructuring strategy to put Gulf Air on a path towards sustainability.”
“The restructuring and subsequent financial rehabilitation of Gulf Air will liberate treasury resources for domestic investment and result in a transformed national carrier,” he concluded.
Developed following careful review and analysis of key critical issues facing the airline, the Executive Restructuring Committee and the Gulf Air management have created a balanced restructuring strategy.
A Re-Aligned Network to benefit customers
Gulf Air will strengthen its Middle East and North Africa (MENA) operations to ensure that its core customer base is served more effectively and efficiently while taking appropriate measures to reduce losses. Consequently, the airline has already closed eight commercially unviable routes. Gulf Air’s realigned network, will continue to operate to destinations in the Middle East, Europe, Far East and India offering flexible and multiple flight options while maintaining strategic links with selected European, Far East and Indian subcontinent markets.
The realignment of the network will allow the airline to use its fleet and resources in the most efficient way in MENA markets by moving away from low-yield transit traffic and concentrating on high-demand and high-yield point-to-point routes to connect Bahraini businesses with regional markets.
The restructuring process will ensure that Gulf Air continues to hold a leadership position in the Middle East by operating the largest regional network. The airline, known for achieving the highest on-time performance in the region, will continue to maintain and improve its operational efficiency and reliability.
A Simplified, Modern fleet
Gulf Air will simplify its fleet to meet its revised network and flight schedule, operating a mix of wide and narrow body aircraft with one of the youngest fleets in the region (4.3 years). It will continue to offer its hallmark Arabian hospitality accompanied by its award winning customer service and leading on-time-performance reinforcing its position as the region’s most family and business friendly airline.
A Right-sized Workforce
All cost elements of the business will be rationalized. Gulf Air’s workforce requirement will be aligned to meet the operational, maintenance and administrative needs of the revised fleet and network. The introduction of a simplified structure will drive organizational efficiency, increase productivity and align accountabilities to the success of the organization
Right-sizing will be implemented across all levels of the organization and will be done on a performance-based review and individual job assessment against business-critical requirements. Priority will be on retaining the most productive employees with focus on maintaining key talent.
As the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Gulf Air will continue to be a leading employer providing continuous learning and skills training opportunities to grow within the organization and work hard for Gulf Air’s long term success and future.
A Financially Stronger Airline
Gulf Air’s main objective in the restructuring process is to reduce its losses through various cost-cutting measures across its business functions while improving yield and increasing revenue.
Then plan will result in cost savings of 24% by the end of 2013. In addition, further strategic initiatives have been developed that will reduce costs and improve financial results in 2014 and beyond. Revenue per Available Seat Kilometre (ASK) will increase by 9% in 2013 through improved revenue management and sales, frequency adjustments and route cancellations.
To ensure that the Government funding is utilised effectively supporting the long-term objectives of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the restructuring is on track and handled in a professional and transparent manner, The Board of Directors, led by H.E. Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister is committed to holding a full board meeting every month. This is in line with the mandate of the Board as directed by the Government to oversee the execution of the restructuring plan across all areas of the organization.
Gulf Air will continue to operate with high-standards of international corporate governance and is committed to transparency. Towards achieving this objective, an online mechanism has been set up at Gulf Air.com to report any malpractices, which will directly reach the Audit Committee and the Board of Directors for investigation and appropriate actions. The airline is committed to keeping its stakeholders fully informed as each major milestone of this strategic programme is achieved.
The three year transition program will leave Gulf Air in a stronger position to meet future challenges. It will create a dynamic, commercially sustainable business better positioned to meet its future challenges.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Gulf Air is likely to stabilize around the A320/A321 for regional routes and the A330 for longer routes. Airbus A320-214 A9C-AB (msn 4030) arrives at neighboring Dubai.
Qatar Airways (Doha) and Gulf Air (Abu Dhabi) have been selected to operate domestic flights in Saudi Arabia as well as international flights to and from this neighboring country. Both airlines will now have to complete the final process according to this report by Zawya.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Qatar Airways’ Airbus A330-302 A7-AEJ (msn 826) climbs away from Geneva.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Airbus A320-214 A9C-AG (msn 4188) of Gulf Air completes its final approach into Dubai.
Emirates Airline (Dubai) on December 5 touched down in Lyon, celebrating the airline’s third destination in France and fourth new European destination since the start of 2012.
Serviced by an Airbus A340-500 in three cabin classes, Emirates’ flights to Lyon will offer a total of 258 seats including; 12 First Class Suites, 42 seats in Business Class and 204 seats in Economy Class. The addition of this new Emirates service will see an overall capacity increase of 12 per cent in France.
In other news, on December 1, 2012 Emirates’ A380 destination list grew to 20, with Singapore and Moscow joining the airline’s double-decker network.
With the world’s largest fleet of A380 aircraft, at 27 and another four to be delivered up to the end of 2012, Emirates continues to set the pace for A380 deployment. In the four years since the A380 has been in operation over 11.5 million passengers have flown on the aircraft.
Emirates’ inaugural A380 service to Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow marks the first time a commercial A380 flight has touched down in the city reinforcing the airline’s long-term commitment to Russia. In addition to the launch of the A380 to Moscow, Emirates will also upgrade its daily St. Petersburg service, launching a Boeing 777-300 on the route today adding a further 688 seats per week on the route.
With the addition of A380 services, Emirates’ total capacity across four daily services from Dubai to Singapore increases to 1,659 seats daily. In Moscow the total capacity across two daily services from Dubai to Moscow increases to 775 seats daily.
Continuing with its swift A380 utilization from December 10th Emirates will operate all five daily services from London Heathrow with an A380. New York and Paris will also benefit from the upcoming A380 deliveries, each receiving their second daily A380 service from 1st January 2013. The extensive Emirates A380 network enables many customers to now travel onboard the A380 for the full length of their journey.
Passengers in all classes can enjoy Emirates’ award-winning ‘ice’ Digital Widescreen, the industry’s most sophisticated video and audio system, offering 1,400 channels of on-demand entertainment – the largest selection of programming in the sky.
Emirates now operates to 21 A380 destinations with new cities to be announced in the coming months.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman. Airbus A340-541 A6-ERJ (msn 694) taxies at the Dubai hub.
Qatar Airways (Doha) on November 21 launched scheduled flights to Serbia, its latest entry into Eastern Europe and the airline’s 11th new route of the year. The carrier inaugurated the first of three weekly services to the country’s capital city of Belgrade, gateway to Serbia’s historic and cultural attractions. The airline’s newest route also marks an expansion of its global network, now reaching 121 destinations as part of Qatar Airways’ ongoing commitment to serving emerging and popular markets, both in Europe and further afield according to the airline.
The airline has now spread its international wings to 31 gateways across Europe and 11 new destinations so far this year.
Qatar Airways is flying its Airbus A320 on the Belgrade route, featuring 144 seats in a two-class configuration of 12 Business Class seats and 132 in Economy.
Since the beginning of 2012, Qatar Airways has launched flights to 11 new destinations – Baku (Azerbaijan); Tbilisi (Georgia); Kigali (Rwanda); Zagreb (Croatia), Erbil (Iraq), Baghdad (Iraq), Perth (Australia), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania); Yangon (Myanmar), Maputo (Mozambique) and now Belgrade (Serbia).
Over the next few weeks, Qatar Airways will launch services to a diverse portfolio of new routes, including Warsaw, Poland (December 5), Gassim, Saudi Arabia (7 January 2013); Najaf, Iraq (January 23); Phnom Penh, Cambodia (February 20); Chicago, USA (April 10); and Salalah, Oman (May 22).
In other news, the fast-growing carrier will deploy its new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on the prestigious Doha-London Heathrow route starting on December 13 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Airbus A320-232 A7-AHU (msn 5127) arrives in Dubai.
Emirates Airline (Dubai) is adding new passenger and belly cargo service to Phuket, Thailand. Phuket will become the second Thai gateway that connects it to international trade opportunities across its network of 126 destinations.
The launch of a daily nonstop flight to Phuket on December 10, 2012, operated by an Airbus A340-300 with a belly hold capacity of 13 tons, will take the weekly cargo capacity into and out of the country to more than 640 tons. This capacity is spread across four flights to Bangkok and one to Phuket.
Phuket, the largest island in Thailand, located in the Andaman Sea, will become the 15th route launch for Emirates this year and the second in South East Asia following the launch of Ho Chi Minh City in June.
Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati. Airbus A340-313X A6-ERN (msn 166) arrives at the Dubai hub.
Qatar Airways (Doha) yesterday (November 20) entered its first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner into revenue service on the short Doha-Dubai route. The company issued the following statement:
Qatar Airways on November 20 began commercial services of its brand new Boeing 787 aircraft with Doha – Dubai becoming the Dreamliner’s debut route.
The state-of-the-art aircraft is being deployed on four daily rotations between the two cities marking a new era for Middle East aviation as Qatar Airways is the Boeing 787 launch customer in the region.
Flight QR 106 took off from Doha International Airport at 0800 hrs for the one hour journey to Dubai.
Qatar Airways’ newest addition to its fleet heralds the start of an exciting new era for travellers worldwide with unparalled levels of comfort and luxury onboard Boeing’s next generation aircraft.
The 787 services to and from the UAE will target peak travel times in a combination of morning, afternoon and night flights to Dubai.
The new operation comes less than a week after the aircraft’s delivery flight from Seattle to Doha, where it has since spent a few days positioned at Doha International Airport giving staff an opportunity to tour the aircraft before it enters commercial service.
Qatar Airways has orders for 60 Dreamliners. The next four 787s are due to join the fleet by the end of December.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the maiden commercial route marked yet another exciting achievement for the award-winning airline.
“Today signifies an exciting and hugely anticipated occasion for Qatar Airways, as well as the global aviation industry. It is with enormous pride for my country, our employees and myself that we are embarking on another momentous achievement for our award-winning airline with the introduction of 787 passenger flights. The Dreamliner is yet another first for Qatar Airways, our customers and for the Middle East aviation industry, he said.
“Dubai is one of our most popular routes and we felt it important to give our passengers in and around our neighbouring city an opportunity to experience the comforts of our new plane before it begins long-haul commercial services.
“With this launch we reaffirm our continued commitment to challenge and lead the aviation industry, redefining the passenger experience as we deliver a truly five-star offering to travellers around the world.
“I have no doubt that our passengers – aviation fanatics, seasoned travellers and first time flyers alike will cherish their first time aboard our 787s and look forward to savouring the experience time and time again. The 787 raises the bar for luxury commercial travel and the experience for travellers around the world will never be the same again,” added Al Baker.
Following the 787s welcome into commercial service on the Doha – Dubai route, it will then spread its wings on one of the airline’s five daily flights to London Heathrow. As more 787s join the fleet over the course of the next few weeks, the aircraft will be inducted on other long-haul routes including Zurich, Frankfurt and Delhi.
Qatar Airways has 254 custom-made seats across its 787 Business and Economy Class cabins with specially designed interiors, together with a unique inflight entertainment system offering over 1,000 audio and video programming options. Its Dreamliners are also the world’s first fully connected 787s with wireless facilities for passengers to remain in touch with their friends and loved ones on the ground.
A striking feature of every seat throughout the aircraft is the award-winning touch screen Android system, where passengers are able to navigate through a truly interactive service offering more than 1,000 movie, TV programmes, music and gaming entertainment options in a sophisticated and user friendly way, just like the latest smart phones.
The touch-screen control unit has a unique dual screen interface allowing passengers to play games on their handheld device while enjoying a movie on their personal screen. Passengers are also able to be fully connected through WIFI and GSM telephony, sending both text and MMS messages, with each seat equipped with USB, MP3 and other charger ports, including laptop power outlets.
In addition, dynamic mood lighting and the composite design of the Dreamliner with lighter materials, will ensure passengers are less fatigued and more refreshed as the cabin pressure is 2,000 feet closer to ground level with an air purification system that is cleaner and healthier than many other aircraft.
The 787 Dreamliner is made up of composite materials making it a lighter and more fuel efficient than any comparable aircraft of its size and range. Key features include larger windows, lower cabin pressure at higher altitude ensuring less fatigue, mood lighting throughout the aircraft and more passenger space and comfort.
Since the beginning of 2012, Qatar Airways has launched flights to 10 new destinations – Baku (Azerbaijan); Tbilisi (Georgia); Kigali (Rwanda); Zagreb (Croatia), Erbil (Iraq), Baghdad (Iraq), Perth (Australia), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania); Yangon (Myanmar), Maputo (Mozambique), and Belgrade (Serbia).
Over the next few weeks and months, Qatar Airways will launch services to a diverse portfolio of new routes, including Warsaw, Poland (December 5), Gassim, Saudi Arabia (7 January 2013); Najaf, Iraq (January 23); Phnom Penh, Cambodia (February 20); Chicago, USA (April 10); and Salalah, Oman (May 22).
Copyright Photo: Eurospot. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner A7-BCB (msn 38320) arrives at Dubai after the historic first flight.
Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa) will extend the Addis Ababa-Bangkok route to Kuala Lumpur on October 31. The route will be operated with Boeing 767-300 ERs, three days a week, per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Boeing 767-360 ER ET-ALJ (msn 33767) completes its final approach into Dubai.