Tiger Airways orders 20 additional A320

Tiger Airways, Asia-Pacific’s fast growing low-fare carrier, has signed a contract with Airbus for an additional 20 A320s, which will take its fleet up to 70 aircraft. This announcement follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for 50 A320s in June 2007, with the first 30 of these orders confirmed in October. Tiger Airways currently operates a fleet of 12 A320s, with eight more to be delivered by 2010. Tiger Airways A320s will be configured in a 180-seat, all economy configuration

The A320s will be deployed on the airline’s rapidly expanding Asia-Pacific network that currently extends to more than 25 destinations in eight countries. This includes Tiger Airways’ new Australian domestic operation, which was launched out of Melbourne in November 2007.

The latest order from Tiger Airways serves to further boost the significance of Singapore as a major market for the entire family of Airbus aircraft. Over the past decade, Singapore carriers have ordered a total of 156 Airbus aircraft comprising of 63 wide-body and 93 single aisle aircraft.

Source: Airbus

Frankfurt expansion approved

Today, the expansion of Frankfurt Airport (FRA) has been approved by the German government.
The expansion includes a new, 4th runway with a length of 2,800 meters (9.240 ft); the new Terninal 3 and the Airbus A380 maintenance base.

Fraport AG’s executive board chairman Dr. Wilhelm Bender called it a “historic day for Frankfurt Airport and for aviation in Germany,” at the signing of the zoning decision on airport expansion by Hesse minister of economics, transport and state development, Alois Rhiel, in Wiesbaden. Speaking to journalists, Bender explained that an “important step on the road to Frankfurt Airport’s urgently needed expansion” has now been taken. Only expansion will ensure the competitiveness and future of Frankfurt Airport (FRA), which is number three in Europe and ranks in the top 10 worldwide.

Bender said that expansion of the airport is also a “national task”. Germany’s central airport needs a secure future in the aviation growth market to be successful at an international level, because the number of passengers and the amount of airfreight is expected to double by 2020.

Bender, who also heads the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main Economic Initiative, said that the decision is “a good day for the region”. Expansion of Frankfurt Airport is the prerequisite for strengthening our home region in the increasingly competitive European market.

Bender pointed out that the approximately €4 billion airport expansion is the biggest private enterprise investment project in Germany. Furthermore, up to €300 million are being invested annually in existing facilities.
In the opinion of Bender, FRA’s expansion is a “huge employment generator that will create up to 100,000 additional jobs”.

Visit: http://www.ausbau.fraport.com for further information on the Frankfurt Airport expansion.

Source: Fraport AG

Cathay Pacific with new Economy Class

I’m pretty impressed of Cathay Pacific’s new Economy Class seats, already introduced in May. Finally an airline is improving the poor Economy Class experience by innovating its seat design. Finally someone was researching on how to improve seating comfort for us tall people.
It’s no secret that I call Cathay Pacific my favorite airline, all the more I’m delighted about the improvements being made.

First of all, the most important improvement, the new seats have a fixed rear panel to allow reclining without intruding on passengers space seated behind. Using the LEAP Live Back™ feature, the seat is sliding to the front/down instead of tilting back. No more “seat-reclining-wars”, no more “bloody” knees – more leg space! 😀 Since years I’m waiting for this kind of improvement in Y class! 🙂

Cathay Pacific new Economy Class Seats

Furthermore, this technology provides active support of the spine in all positions, like sitting in a office chair, allowing better seating comfort. Additional comfort is provided by specially designed neck support with adjustable ears.

Cathay Pacific new Economy Class Seats

Some more quite clever changes have been made. The literature pocket has been relocated to below the seat cushion to create more leg room and a larger table offers increased comfort when dining. The new seats are also offering a coat hook to add more convenience.

Cathay Pacific new Economy Class Seats

The Personal In-flight Entertainment System has also been enhanced, now featuring a larger 9″ personal TV screen and Audio&Video on Demand.

Cathay Pacific new Economy Class Seats

Thank you Cathay Pacific!

Visit: http://www.cathaypacific.com for further information

Safety Report – 12/18/2007

Date & Time: 12/17/2007 14:43
Location: Cleveland, OH
Aircraft Type: Boeing 767-332 Registration: N128DL
Operator: Delta Air Lines Flight: 9835
Phase: Taxi
Damage: Unknown
Injuries & Fatalities: none
Description: Aircraft slid off the taxiway and the right main gear became stuck in the grass

Date & Time: 12/18/2007 03:45
Location: Lafayette, LA
Aircraft Type: Boeing 757-24APF Registration: N/A
Operator: United Parcel Service – UPS Flight: 705
Phase: Taxi
Damage: Minor
Injuries & Fatalities: none
Description: While taxiiing to depart, hit the APU of another aircraft, departed without incident

Source: FAA
Correctness of this posting is not guaranteed & completeness not intended. This posting is just for informational purpose.

Safety Report – 12/17/2007

Date & Time: 12/17/2007 02:20
Location: Newark, NJ
Aircraft Type: Boeing 727-200 Registration: N615PA
Operator: Paradigm Air
Phase: Standing
Damage: Unknown
Injuries & Fatalities: none
Description: While parked at the ramp, a cargo container punctured a hole in the fuselage near the cargo hold

Date & Time: 12/14/2007 17:02
Location: Decatur, IL
Aircraft Type: Boeing PT-17 Kaydet (A75N1) Registration: N62159
Phase: Landing
Damage: Substantial
Injuries & Fatalities: none
Description: Aircraft after landing, went nose down onto the runway and struck the propeller.
Weather: SPECI 1705Z WIND CALM VIS10 CLR 00/06 A3036

Date & Time: 12/14/2007 21:51
Location: Chicago, IL
Aircraft Type: Boeing 777-222/ER Registration: N220UA
Operator: United Airlines Flight: UAL836
Phase: Approach
Damage: None
Injuries & Fatalities: 1 unknown injury
Description: While on final declared an emergency due to smoke in the cabin, landed safely, evacuated via chutes on the taxiway. One person on board reported with unknown injuries and transported to the hospital

Source: FAA
Correctness of this posting is not guaranteed & completeness not intended. This posting is just for informational purpose.

Boeing Set to Begin Assembly of New 777 Freighter

Boeing is set to begin full production of its new 777 Freighter now that engineers recently have completed more than 90% of the design work for the new cargo airplane. Boeing will start assembly of the first 777 Freighter in early 2008 at its Everett, Washington, facility.
Suppliers already have begun production of parts and major components for Boeing’s newest freighter. The first 777 Freighter will be delivered to launch customer Air France in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Boeing 777 Freighter

The 777 Freighter will fly farther and provide more capacity than any other twin-engine cargo airplane. In addition, the main cargo deck door of the 777 Freighter is sized to facilitate easy direct-transfer shipments with the 747 freighter fleet, which provides about half of the world’s freighter capacity.
To date, Boeing has sold 82 777 Freighters to 11 customers, accounting for more than 20 percent of the 777 Program’s current backlog.
The 777 Freighter is based on the passenger model 777-200LR Worldliner. Other changes to the 777 Freighter include the strengthening of certain airplane structures; an enhanced, lightweight cargo handling system with built-in test equipment that continually monitors the operational health of the system; and a maneuver load alleviation system to help distribute the load on the airplane in flight.
The 777 Freighter will have a range of 4,885 nmi (9,045 km) with a full payload and general cargo market densities. With a maximum takeoff weight of 766,000 pounds (347,450 kilograms), the 777 Freighter will have a revenue payload capability of more than 226,000 pounds (103 metric tons).
The 777 Freighter is the sixth and newest model of the 777 family of airplanes.

Source: Boeing
Image Credit: Boeing

5000th Airbus Aircraft Delivered

Airbus today celebrates another major milestone in its relatively short but successful existence – the delivery of its 5,000th aircraft, an A330-200, to Australian customer, Qantas.

Thirty three years ago, in May 1974, Airbus delivered its very first aircraft, an A300B2, to first operator Air France. Nineteen years later, in 1993, Airbus delivered its first 1,000th aircraft, and it took it another six years to reach the 2000th in 1999. Reflecting its subsequent rapid growth with an expanded aircraft family and more products on offer, the 3,000th Airbus aircraft was delivered in 2002, and only three years later, in September 2005, the 4,000th. It needed only another two years to reach the 5,000th delivery milestone of today. Also, it took Airbus more than 30 years to deliver more than 50 per cent of all airliners of more than 100 seats delivered in one year. This was in 2005, and Airbus continued in the lead since. It also took Airbus some 30 years after its initial creation in 1970 to bypass it main competitor in terms of sales and remain constantly at around half the market share, with more than 50 percent for five years in a row since 2001.

The Airbus history shows how long it takes to become a major player in this very difficult and long term market. “Not only does it require a vision, but it also requires a strong commitment to invest in the long term. This was the basis to the Airbus success”, says Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders. “And today, I want to assure our customers, our employees, our suppliers and shareholders, and all our other stakeholders, that we are committed to building on this success for the future by ensuring the competitiveness of our company and its products to the benefit of all”.

Airbus continues to considerably ramp up its production rates so as to reach ten A330/A340, 40 A320 Family planes and four A380s per month by 2010 in order to cope with very strong demand for its products. Its backlog of more than 3,000 aircraft should be delivered within the next five to six years only.

Watch Videos at http://www.airbus.com/en/corporate/orders_and_deliveries/5000th_delivery/

Source: Airbus

GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS) orders 55 Boeing planes

On Dec. 13th GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS) ordered 55 Boeing airplanes that includes 53 Next-Generation 737-800s and two Boeing 777-300ER (Extended Range) passenger jetliners.
The order, valued at approximately $4.5 billion at list prices, includes an exercise of existing options.
GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS), the U.S. and Irish commercial aircraft financing and leasing businesses of GE, has a fleet of 1,450 owned aircraft it leases to more than 230 airlines in some 70 countries, and it manages nearly 300 aircraft for others.

Iberia celebrates 80th birthday with A319 retro livery

This Iberia Airbus A319-111 (EC-KKS) has been painted in a special 1950 retro livery as part of Iberia’s 80th Birthday celebrations.
The aircraft will be used on the Madrid-Barcelona route, which was the company’s – and Spain’s – first scheduled commercial service, launched from this same airfield in 1927.

Tomorrow, December 14, is the 80th anniversary Iberia’s maiden commercial flight, from Madrid’s Cuatro Vientos airfield to Barcelona. It used three 10-passenger Rohrbach-Roland aeroplanes on the route. The company will return to its birthplace to celebrate the birthday.

The mark its 80th birthday, Iberia painted its latest Airbus A-319 in the colours used by the airline in the 1950s, when the airline first displayed a corporate image with its own colour scheme and a company logo.

The red horizontal stripe on the fuselage first appeared on the DC-4s that Iberia operated in 1946 when it launched flights to South America, and again on the Superconstellations that flew between Madrid and New York in the 1950s, when it entered the North Atlantic market where it has recently strengthened is position, adding flights to Boston and Washington, DC.

The logo showing a world globe embraced by the company’s winged insignia first appeared on the Convairs in 1957, and then on the Caravelles and DC-8s in the early 1960s.

The aircraft symbolising the company’s eighty years in the air and christened the “Halcón Peregrino” also bears the image of the peregrine falcon for which is its named, in Iberia’s campaign, launched last January, to raise awareness of endangered Spanish species. The company has now nameed nine aircraft for such species as the imperial eagle, the brown bear, and the Iberian lynx.

The nearly 700 million passengers flown by Iberia in the past eight decades are also to be honoured on this birthday, in the person of Pedro Gomendio, 76, probably the most veteran, who was only six years old when he made the first of his more than a thousand flights with Iberia. As a token of gratitude, Iberia’s chairman Fernando Conte will hand him a silver replica of a Rohrbach Roland, the only Iberia aircraft in which he never flew, since it went out of service before he made his first flight.

On December 14, 1927, the takeoff of Iberia’s maiden flight to Barcelona – and the first commercial flight ever made in Spain – was witnessed by King Alfonso XIII, along with Iberia’s first chairman, Horacio Echevarrieta, its first managing director, Daniel de Araoz, several government ministers, and other dignitaries.

Now, 80 years later, the company is commemorating that historic flight with a takeoff from the same Cuatro Vientos airfield in Madrid. On this occasion, however, the aircraft will first land at the new Terminal 4 in Madrid-Barajas airport to pick up the passengers for Barcelona.

The special aircraft will make two return flights to Barcelona, and on the following day will fly to Bilbao and Seville.

The new A-319 will wear its commemorative colours and design for about two years, when its first major overhaul is scheduled. Meanwhile, passengers will find information about the aircraft and Iberia’s history in their seat pockets.

Source: Iberia

Finnair orders further A330-300 for long-haul fleet

Yesterday, Finnair has placed a firm order with Airbus for an additional A330-300 long-range aircraft for delivery in spring 2009. This new order brings the total number of Finnair’s Airbus wide-body aircraft to 22, including seven A330-300s, four A340-300s and eleven A350 XWB. They contribute to the modernisation of Finnair’s long-haul fleet and help them meet their expansion plans.

Jukka Hienonen, President and CEO of Finnair said: “We want to update our long-haul fleet as quickly as possible, so as to serve our customers better. We also want to benefit from the modern twin-engine technology offered by the Airbus products, which are both more fuel efficient and environmentally friendlier. This will allow us to operate one of the most modern and eco-efficient fleets in Europe”.

The A330-300 will consume 20 percent less fuel than its predecessor aircraft.

Source: Airbus