BA Boeing 767 300 Cyprus A320 Sunset Landing LCA Plane Spotting

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Airnation.net Plane Spotting
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BA Boeing 767 300 Cyprus A320 Sunset Landing LCA Plane Spotting w ATC Comms
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Update: Lufthansa Pilots’ Strike – Flights Resume

Lufthansa Pilots Strike

Passengers seeking to fly with Lufthansa have been facing only limited disruptions as the German airline’s pilots have resumed industrial action. Their fifth walkout this year is primarily affecting Frankfurt Airport.

German flagship carrier Lufthansa said Tuesday that despite the renewed strike over its pilots’ early retirement scheme it would provide 32 out of 57 long-haul flights from Frankfurt.
The strike started at 0600 GMT and is scheduled to continue until 2100 GMT, but its knock-on effects meant that flights via Frankfurt, Europe’s third largest airport, could be disrupted until early on Wednesday.
The strike followed inconclusive talks over the terms of a retirement scheme between the VC pilots’ union and the management of Lufthansa last week, which were broken off on Thursday.
“Since management is still failing to come up with an offer for a compromise we see ourselves forced to resort to this measure,” VC said in a statement.

The 5,400 pilots employed at Lufthansa, its budget subsidiary Germanwings, and Lufthansa Cargo demand that the airline should keep an existing retirement benefit scheme that allows pilots to retire at the age of 55.

Perks for pilots

The pilots are fighting a plan by Lufthansa management to raise the minimum retirement age, and to involve pilots in the financing of their pensions.
Lufthansa pilots have already staged industrial action four times this year, idling a total of 4,300 flights that left 480,000 passengers stranded.
After the new talks collapsed on Thursday, Lufthansa insisted that it had “signaled its willingness to compromise” and offered to talk about the contentious points.
Like other European carriers, Lufthansa is battling to reduce costs in the face of stiff competition from budget airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair.

More.. http://www.dw.de/lufthansa-pilots-ground-long-haul-flights/a-17960997

Bombardier and Nok Air Showcase the 86-seat Extra Capacity Q400 NextGen Aircraft

Nok Air DHC-8-400

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft and Thailand’s premium low cost airline, Nok Air, showcased today the carrier’s second Q400 NextGen turboprop at Bombardier’s facility in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The extra capacity aircraft, the only commercial turboprop capable of comfortably accommodating 86 passengers, will join Nok Air’s fleet as part of a purchase agreement for up to eight Q400 NextGen airliners, six of which are firm.

During a celebratory event surrounding the colorfully-painted Q400 NextGen turboprop and opened with a cheerful dance performance, Bombardier executives and employees hosted Nok Air representatives as well as local and Thai media.
“While our 86-seat Q400 NextGen turboprops are positioning us to offer increased capacity on already popular routes, they will also allow us to grow into new destinations while increasing our profitability,” said Patee Sarasin, Chief Executive, Nok Air. “We are eager for the Q400 NextGen aircraft to enter service and to offer our passengers an improved, more comfortable cabin environment.”

“As it makes regional air service more convenient and accessible to travelers in South East Asia, Nok Air will certainly showcase beautifully the flexibility and productivity of the extra capacity Q400 NextGen turboprop – always with the fun and friendly hospitality for which Thais, and particularly Nok Air, are known,” said Frank Baistrocchi, Regional Vice President, Sales, Asia-Pacific, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “We are confident that the aircraft’s unbeatably low seat-mile costs and superior performance will be key assets to Nok Air’s bold growth strategy and we couldn’t be prouder to be associated with such a forward-thinking airline.”
“We again extend our appreciation to Nok Air for introducing the Q400 NextGen airliner to the region and launching the 86-seat version, and we look forward to a long future of strong friendship and collaboration,” he added.

About Q400 NextGen aircraft

With the introduction of the Q400 NextGen aircraft, Bombardier invented the modern turboprop. Optimized for short-haul operations and seating up to 86 passengers, the aircraft is a large, fast, quiet and fuel-efficient turboprop that provides the perfect balance of passenger comfort, performance and operational flexibility with the lowest seat-mile costs in the short-haul regional market. With the flexibility to fly at both turboprop and jet-like speeds, the Q400 NextGen aircraft can be profitably deployed over short-range turboprop missions and in medium-haul jet markets. Now available in optional dual class, extra capacity and passenger-cargo combi configurations, the Q400 NextGen aircraft’s versatility positions it to again reshape the turboprop market through profitable growth.
The Q400 NextGen aircraft features an enhanced cabin environment with the introduction of LED lighting, new ceiling panels, dished window sidewalls and larger overhead luggage bins. These features, combined with the aircraft’s Active Noise and Vibration Suppression (ANVS) system, provide an excellent cabin experience for passengers.
Bombardier has recorded firm orders for a total of 511 Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft. Worldwide, Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft have transported more than 295 million passengers and have logged over 4.7 million flight hours and more than 5 million take-offs and landings. The Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft program includes over 50 customers and operators in approximately 40 countries on five continents.

More… http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/bombardier-nok-air-showcase-carriers-86-seat-extra-capacity-q400-nextgen-aircraft-tsx-bbd.a-1952262.htm

Airbus to bring back lithium-ion batteries on A350

Airbus A350
Airbus A350

Airbus Group will bring back lithium-ion batteries to its A350-900 from 2016 after removing the more advanced power sources from early production jets following defects on models used in Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliner.

The European planemaker will switch back from less-advanced nickel-cadmium batteries picked for the earlier planes, which won certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency today. Regulatory approval marks the end of the flight test campaign and clears the way for a first delivery this year, to Qatar Airways Ltd., which has ordered 80 A350s.

Airbus initially designed the A350 to use advanced lithium batteries, which are lighter than nickel-cadmium. After the 787 was temporarily grounded for technical glitches related to those batteries, Airbus went back to the old standard to maintain the schedule for certification. Because test flights were performed with both nickel-cadmium and lithium types, Airbus was able to get both certified.

“We flew lithium-ion for all the development aircraft, accumulating big experience on the flights,” said Gordon McConnell, the chief designer of the aircraft. “From the very beginning we were fully aware of the conditions of use, and how we could mitigate any risks to zero.”

The company will start delivery of the aircraft in the fourth quarter this year.

Airbus has said its own lithium-ion architecture is different from that used by Boeing. The first A350-900 will carry 315 passengers with a range of 7,750 nautical miles. A later variant, the A350-1000, will enter service in 2017, seating 369 people. Boeing was three and a half years late with its 787, and then saw the plane grounded for three months by regulators in the U.S. after some batteries smoldered.

Airbus said the A350-900 coming off production lines now is 3 tons heavier than initial projections, which forced it to seek approval a higher maximum takeoff weight. Manufacturers’ early versions of planes typically come out heavier than planned, with weight loss achieved during serial production.

More… http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2024662717_airbusa350xml.html?syndication=rss

Airbus A350 XWB – 5 Aircraft Formation Flight

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Five Airbus A350-900 aircraft take to the skies for a short formation flight display to celebrate launching of the A350 XWB, a next-generation hauler.

Frontier focuses on Chicago from new O’Hare base

Frontier at O'Hare
Frontier at O’Hare

Frontier Airlines, continuing its blitz on Chicago, is expected Tuesday to announce four more flights from its new base at O’Hare International Airport as the discounter transitions out of Chicago’s Midway Airport.

The announcement comes on the heels of Frontier’s seven new destinations from O’Hare announced this month, which makes Chicago one of Frontier’s “focus cities,” along with a few others, such as Cleveland and Trenton, N.J., that offer a concentration of flights outside its lone hub in Denver.

“It’s a huge market. O’Hare is the preferred airport,” Frontier CEO Dave Siegel said in an interview. “You have two legacy carriers there (United Airlines and American Airlines), but it’s still an underserved market where we can bring our low fares and friendly service, expand the market and create some additional choice for customers.”

The Denver-based ultralow-cost carrier has flown limited flights from Midway since the late 1990s. But this month, it began its first flight from O’Hare, six days a week to Dulles airport outside Washington. The move to O’Hare means it’s now going head to head with its primary competition in the deep-discount market, Spirit Airlines.

Both airlines are known for low fares and for aggressively charging fees, even for carry-on bags and seat assignments.

Siegel said getting into O’Hare has been a priority for him since he took over at Frontier in 2012.

“We have the advantage of the low fares and the great product. What we had was a disadvantage in the airport that we serve,” Siegel said. The merger of American Airlines and US Airways freed up a gate for Frontier, he said.

Does Frontier plan to discontinue its service from Midway? “We haven’t made any final decisions there, but you can see our growth is out of O’Hare,” Siegel said.

Frontier, which started in 1994, will begin flying this week from O’Hare to Cleveland, Denver and Atlanta, with flights beginning later in the month to Phoenix and Salt Lake City. Las Vegas, Miami, and Orlando and Tampa, Fla., will be added in December, with Philadelphia added in March. Its limited year-round service out of Midway has mostly been to its Denver base and, more recently, Trenton.

With recent airline mergers and cutbacks in the total number of seats available in the domestic airline industry, airfares have been rising, Siegel said.

“What we’re trying to be is a counterbalance to that,” he said. “We’re the only ones who deliver low fares and a great product to go with it.”

For a departure on a random date, Monday, Nov. 3, to Denver, Frontier’s fare is about $184 from O’Hare, while the cheapest legacy carriers, American and Chicago-based United, both had fares at $266, according to prices on Orbitz.com. Spirit had a flight the same day for $154.

Some Frontier customers have been less than thrilled with the airline recently.

For months, Frontier has ranked worst in customer-complaint rates, according to reports at the Department of Transportation. In July, the most recent data available, 4.22 formal complaints were lodged against Frontier for every 100,000 passengers it carried, nearly double its rate from the year before and far worse than the second-worst carrier, United, at 3.39 complaints per 100,000. Spirit, also known to garner rampant complaints, does not yet report its complaint rates to the department. Siegel contends that Frontier would rank better.

More… http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-airline-frontier-0930-biz-20140928-story.html

Airbus A350-900 receives EASA Type Certification

A350 Xtra

The world’s latest generation commercial airliner, the A350-900, has received Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on 30th September 2014. The certified aircraft is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification will follow shortly.
The EASA A350-900 Type Certificate was signed by EASA’s Executive Director, Patrick Ky. The document was handed over to Airbus’ Executive Vice President Engineering, Charles Champion and Airbus’ A350 XWB Chief Engineer, Gordon McConnell.

“Receiving the A350-900 Type Certification from EASA is a great achievement for Airbus and for all our partners who have contributed to designing, building and certificating this fantastic, new generation aircraft. The A350-900 is now ready to fly from the nest and be enjoyed by airlines and passengers,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO. “The A350 XWB embodies many extra innovative technologies which make all the difference in passenger comfort and airline efficiency.”
“The A350 XWB manufacturing programme has also been innovative and ambitious, aiming for a fully mature aircraft at entry into service and this is what we are proud to be delivering to our first A350 XWB customer, Qatar Airways, before the end of the year. Our fleet of five test aircraft completed the certification campaign, on time, cost and quality. Accumulating more than 2,600 flight test hours, we created and successfully achieved one of the industry’s most thorough and efficient test programmes ever developed for a jetliner,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO.

The A350-900 Type Certification comes after successfully finishing a stringent programme of certification trials which has taken its airframe and systems well beyond their design limits to ensure all airworthiness criteria are fully met.
The A350 XWB is Airbus’ all-new mid-size long range product line and the newest member of Airbus’ leading widebody family. The A350 XWB stands out in its class thanks to its combination of passenger comfort, technological innovation and its unique industrial process. Built hand-in-hand with our customers, the A350 XWB sets new standards in terms of passenger experience, operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness. At the end of May 2014, the A350 XWB had won 750 orders from 39 customers worldwide.

More.. http://www.airbus.com/newsevents/news-events-single/detail/airbus-a350-900-receives-easa-type-certification/

Qantas makes history; Airbus A380 now flies world’s longest route

Qantas A380
Qantas A380

QANTAS made aviation history as the world’s largest passenger aircraft, the super jumbo A380, started flying the world’s longest route — a non-stop trip lasting nearly 16 hours.

Well, it’s 14 hours 50 minutes to get from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth, but a longer 15 hours 30 minutes to return.
Passengers travelling on the route are now privy to the glam and size of the increasingly popular A380 with Qantas operating six direct return services per week.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce says the move reflect the airline’s history of endurance, setting records and connecting Australians to the world.
“Today, Qantas is leading the way again with the introduction of the world’s largest passenger aircraft on the world’s longest route, Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth, with a flying time of almost 16 hours,” Mr Joyce said this morning at a media conference at Sydney Airport.

So what’s the attraction of arriving in the boot/scooting cowboy-laden city?
“Since starting on the route in 2011 the feedback from our corporate customers, especially those in the resources, technology and agricultural sectors, tells us they like flying into the Dallas hub because it gets them closer to their final destination in the US and offers great onward connections.
“The Dallas/Fort Worth service offers direct access right into the heart of the US with over 50 connections to all US major cities all within four hours, including Orlando, Boston and Houston.”
Qantas recently announced increased services to the US, and will now offer 41 services per week to North America. About half of these services are operated by A380 aircraft and the other half by B747s with A380-style interiors.


Sept. 30, 2014 – Qantas debuted the two-story Airbus A380 in Dallas Monday with much fanfare, including Hollywood actor, aviation buff and airline ambassador John Travolta. (Dallas Business Journal/Jake Dean)

Mr Joyce said introducing A380 services between Sydney and Dallas/Fort Worth, which is the only direct flight from Australia to inland United States, would provide enhance the customer experience and boost capacity.
“We know our customers will value the comfort of the A380 on this route,” he said. “It’s also a vote of confidence in Qantas’s business going forward.
“Not only will the A380 increase seats on the route by more than 10 per cent each week, it will also provide us with greater fuel efficiency and the range to operate the return service direct back to Sydney.

“Our customers also now have the choice of four cabins to both Los Angeles and Dallas/Fort Worth as we introduce our Marc Newson designed First Class Suites on the Dallas/Fort Worth route for the first time.”
The new A380 service will also create further opportunities for both tourism and trade between Australia and the US.
“Dallas/Fort Worth is home to our partner American Airlines, and it’s the perfect hub for both business and leisure travellers heading in either direction across the Pacific.”
Mr Joyce said the fall in the Australian dollar actually has a positive impact on its international business.
“Sure there is always an impact in fuel prices but luckily we have seen a decrease in fuel prices of late regardless.”

More… http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/worlds-longest-flight-on-biggest-plane-a380-takes-over-qantas-sydney-dallas-route/story-e6frfq80-1227073814655

Air France resumes flights after pilots call off strike

Air France Boeing 777-300ER Taking Off-Paine Field
Air France Boeing 777-3

Air France will resume the majority of flights again today, following the end of a two-week pilot’s union strike on September 28.
The airline’s schedule was severely disrupted during the strikes with up to 60 per cent of flights cancelled, causing an estimated loss of up to €300m (£233) for the company. This figure doesn’t yet account for passenger compensation.

The strike was initiated following Air France’s proposed plans to expand its budget airline division, Transavia. Air France claim that they are under increased pressure to expand the cheap flight options, in order to align with a shift in consumer demand. However, pilots feared that the plans will lower their pay and working conditions.
Despite lengthy negotiations between the pilot unions and Air France over the past 24 hours, including 15 hours of talks on Saturday, no agreement has yet been reached.
However, a strike end has been decided among the union and pilots are returning to work. The airline plans for almost all of medium haul flights and more than 90 per cent of its long-haul flights to be operating as normal today.

Due to the lengthy nature of these strikes, Air France is warning customers that last minute changes and minor delays may still occur.
“As aircraft have not flown for several days, mandatory checks are required before operations resume. In addition, aircraft and crews must be repositioned at all Air France stations throughout the world and flight crews must be given their legal rest periods before carrying out return flights,” Air France said.

More…

Airbus Forecasts $US4.6 Trillion Jetliner Market

Airbus A380, A330, A350
Airbus A380, A330, A350

Airbus Group has forecast a global jetliner market of $US4.6 trillion ($5.1 trillion) over the next two decades, raising its outlook from last year and encouraging the plane maker to consider increasing aircraft production.

Plane makers will combine to deliver 31,400 passenger jets that seat more than 100 passengers as well as freighters through 2033, the Toulouse-based company said in a statement. This year’s outlook is more than 2,000 planes above last year’s.

The global airliner fleet, excluding smaller planes, will reach 37,500 jets from 18,500 now in service.

Airbus forecasts annual passenger traffic will grow by 4.7 per cent.”This is a very strong growth market,” Airbus chief operating officer for customers John Leahy told reporters.

The bullish outlook is matched by rival Boeing. The Chicago-based plane maker this summer said 36,770 jets will be delivered with a value of $US5.2 trillion.

Industry experts worry the industry may be reaching a top and could be headed for a downturn if interest rates rise or global political stability shakes markets. Mr Leahy said demand remains robust.

Though Airbus and Boeing agree mostly in their outlooks, they differ in the segment for very large aircraft, where the European plane maker sees greater demand for planes such as its A380 super jumbo with Boeing more muted about the prospects in a segment where it sells the 747-8 jumbo. Airbus projects 1,500 such planes will be delivered in the period, more than twice the 620 forecast at Boeing.

The largest segment by value is for widebody planes, such as Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350. Airbus expects safety authorities to sign off on the new A350 next week, clearing the way for delivery to the plane’s first customer, Qatar Airways, by year-end. The European company sees 9,300 long-range jets delivered over the next two decades at a value of $US2.5 trillion, or 55 per cent of the global market.

Almost half these planes will go to Asia-Pacific airlines, Airbus said, with Middle East carriers set to receive 16 per cent of jets. European airlines are expected to take 15 per cent of the planes, ahead of 9 per cent for the US carriers.

“I’ve got demand exceeding supply” on the A350 and A330, Mr Leahy said, adding, “we are seriously studying an increase in production.” A decision could come next year, Mr Leahy said earlier this week.

The largest number of planes, around 70 per cent of the total to be built, will be single-aisle jets such as the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737. Airbus sees 22,000 such planes built in the period, against the 25,680 deliveries Boeing anticipates. Demand in China and India for domestic flying will help drive 37 per cent of these deliveries to Asia-Pacific airlines. Europe, with 22 per cent, and the US at 21 per cent, will remain important customers

More… http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2014/9/25/aviation/airbus-tips-us46-trillion-jetliner-market