Friday, 30 August 2013

First Commercial 787 Lands In Australia - Air India

Today (Friday 30 August), marked the beginning of a new 787 Dreamliner service to Australia. Air India previously operated the Australian routes, but after a 16 year halt on their Australian flights, the airline has returned with a bang. 
The flight operated was AI 312 that will fly Delhi - Sydney - Melboourne. It touched down this morning in Sydney at 8:29 am (14 minutes behind schedule), and then landed in Melbourne at 11:59, 39 minutes late. 
The aircraft was greeted with helicopter fly bys for photos as well as a traditional water salute courtesy of Air Services Australia. 
Air India is offering these flights for around AUD$1,100 return depending on time and date. They are one of the few airlines, along with United Airlines, who operate the 787 in the 3-3-3 (9 abreast) configuration in Economy. The airline offers an 18 seat Business Class cabin at the front in a 2-2-2 configuration.
The troublesome Dreamliner has caused setbacks in many airlines since its 2011 introduction to service. The world's 787 fleet were grounded by the FAA in January this year after battery and fire faults. Qatar Airways was scheduled to launch the first commercial 787 flight to Australia with a Doha - Perth route, however this was put back because of delivery delays. 
This all comes soon after Boeing revealed the first finished Boeing 787-9, the stretched, longer range edition. Air New Zealand will launch this aircraft next year. The third 787 edition will be the 787-10X, of which Singapore Airlines is the launch customer with the largest order. These should enter service some time in 2015-2016, and will be equipped with SIA's next generation cabins.

The Traditional Water Salute In Sydney (Photo: Rob Homer)

The aircraft on the ground in Sydney (Photo: Rob Homer)

On the runway in Sydney (Photo: James Morgan)

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Amazing Video by Wolfe Air

Take a look at this unbelievable video by WolfeAir, using a heavily modified LearJet 25B. WolfeAir specialises in in-air filming and photography. I own none of this video. It is the sole property of WolfeAir.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

New Singapore Airlines Ad Campaign

It has been a while since SIA released a new ad campaign. The previous one 'Across The World With Singapore Girl' was widely used on TV. Previous to this, the campaign in use was travel videos (about destinations) and new product ads regarding the launch of the A380.  SIA has recently released a series of print ads in Australia on buses and billboards that display the ease of travelling through Singapore to Europe.
Come next week, TV screens around the world will display the new series of commercials that have been in production over the past months. It focuses around showing customers the lengths the airline goes to, to make you feel comfortable and at home. This includes getting tea from China, art movies from Venice and leather for the seats from Scotland.
The airline has released a behind the scenes video. The title suggests that the ad campaign is called "The Lengths We Go To". The video clearly shows what the ads will look like and itself is like a well constructed advertisement.
SIA continues to be one of the world's leading airline, and this ad campaign aims to bring the airline back up to the top spot on the airline rankings.

SIA has continued the 'Fast Forward' theme with a competition to win flights to Europe. This is accessible through the airline's Facebook page

Saturday, 17 August 2013

128GB and Gold iPhone to come?

It's fast approaching the reveal of the next gen iPhone as well as the long rumoured low-cost iPhone. And with this comes a host of new rumours. Ming-Chi Kuo is an Apple securities analyst that has released correct information on unreleased Apple products in the last. It has now released information speculating that the iPhone 5S may feature a 128GB option as well as a gold and champagne coloured option. These changes are to further separate the 5S from the current 5. They also speculate the A7 chip will be introduced with improved 1GB LPDDR3 RAM as opposed to the current A6 and 1GB LPDDR2. 
Along with the long and eagerly expected sapphire fingerprint scanner on the home screen button, Apple is expected to release the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C (plastic, low-cost model) at a special event on September 10.
  A possible gold iPhone casing (Photo: MacBoutic)

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Asiana Pays US$10,000 to Survivors of Asiana 214

Over a month on from the crash of Asiana Airlines flight 214 in San Francisco, it has been revealed that the airline is offering all 288 survivors of the incident a $10,000 payment. Lee Hoymin, a spokesperson for the airline, explained that the payment is not some sort of settlement, and passengers still posses the right to sue the airline. The purpose of the payment is mainly to assist families with any expenses needed that may have come as a result of the incident. A mother of one of the passengers refused to accept the payment, as Asiana simply made a phone call to them. She felt that because there was no official writing or contracts, that is was some sort of scam. 
Asiana has provided payments to families of the passengers who were killed, however, this sum has not been released.

(Photo: John Green)

UPS A300 Crashes in Birmingham, Alabama. Both pilots killed.

On the 14th of August a UPS Airbus A300-600F was on approach to runway 18 at Birmingham airport in Alabama, USA. The aircraft apparently undershot the landing, meaning it impacted the ground early. This would have caused huge damage, but the post-impact fire would have completely destroyed the aircraft. From pictures it is clear that the aircraft has broken into several pieces. Being a domestic freighter flight, only two pilots were aboard, however they were both killed from the impact. The incident occurred early in the morning during darkness. The aircraft burst into flames after impact, but the fire was brought under control fairly soon. The wreckage is heavily damaged, and the pilots unfortunately would have had no chance of survival.
The A300 is an older aircraft that most airlines no longer use. There has been many, many accidents involving A300s over the years, the most recent before this being an Afriqiyah Airways and Libyab Arab Airlines destroyed in fighting in Tripoli in August 2011. These were passenger aircraft. In 2010 an Aerounion A300, also a freighter, was destroyed on landing in a similar incident in Mexico.
This is an aircraft that is being phased out and they are seeing their last flights around the world as newer, safer aircraft take to the skies.

This incident is the latest of the several air incidents that have occurred during this year, including the Asiana Airlines Boeing 777-200 that crashed on landing in San Francisco in July.

(Photo: AFP) 

(Photo: AFP) 

(Photo: Reuters) 

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

JetBlue Announces Transcontinental First Class Suites

Progressively, most US airlines are focusing on premium cabins onboard narrow-body A320s for the medium haul route across the American continent. After United and American both introduced new cabins (Including American's 3 class A320), JetBlue, which is seen as an all economy, low fare airline has surprisingly introduced a First Class Suite to compete with the bigger airlines.
In the second quarter of 2014, JetBlue will progressively introduce the new cabins on 11 A321 aircraft. These aircraft will be used solely for the transcontinental routes, in particular for flights from New York JFK to Los Angeles or San Francisco.
Despite being an all economy airline, JetBlue passengers have said that they would much prefer a premium cabin, and some even say that they would fly with JetBlue for the longer routes in a premium cabin, rather than in a premium cabin on one of the major airlines.
The cabin itself consists of 16 lie-flat seats featuring a high degree of control and massage functions. Each seat has a 15 inch HDTV. The configuration of the seats is interesting, and does not make a lot of sense. The odd rows (1, 3, 5) feature 2-2 seating, with more of a Business Class feel. The two even rows (2, 4), however, are far more 'First Class'. These rows feature a 1-1 config, with each seat having a sliding door and converting to a private suite. Why the airline didn't put the 'suites' together, and then the business seats is a mystery.
But for travellers regularly flying on the transcontinental route, the new suites or Business Class seats will be a popular choice. And the airline itself will benefit wholly with a much higher price tag than economy. WHATCH THE VIRTUAL TOUR HERE

Photos: JetBlue