Airline Ratings https://www.airlineratings.com Wed, 29 Jun 2022 21:23:09 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.4 https://www.airlineratings.com/wp-content/uploads/uploads/cropped-arStars-32x32.png Airline Ratings https://www.airlineratings.com 32 32 SKYTRANS COMMITS TO AUSTRALIA’S FIRST HYDROGEN-ELECTRIC AIRCRAFT https://www.airlineratings.com/news/skytrans-commits-australias-first-hydrogen-electric-aircraft/ https://www.airlineratings.com/news/skytrans-commits-australias-first-hydrogen-electric-aircraft/#respond Wed, 29 Jun 2022 16:01:13 +0000 https://www.airlineratings.com/?p=67126 Regional airline Skytrans has partnered with Stralis Aircraft, to develop and trial Australia’s first hydrogen-electric propulsion aeroplane which will completely eradicate harmful aircraft emissions. The zero-emissions hydrogen-electric propulsion system (HEPS) will be installed on a Beech 1900D Airliner with the trial flight to occur in North Queensland, demonstrating the technology is reliable for tough local […]

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Regional airline Skytrans has partnered with Stralis Aircraft, to develop and trial Australia’s first hydrogen-electric propulsion aeroplane which will completely eradicate harmful aircraft emissions.

The zero-emissions hydrogen-electric propulsion system (HEPS) will be installed on a Beech 1900D Airliner with the trial flight to occur in North Queensland, demonstrating the technology is reliable for tough local conditions and the area’s pristine ecosystems.

Skytrans and Stralis Aircraft are taking a major step in designing and manufacturing the country’s first hydrogen-electric aircraft without compromising on safety, performance or cost.

Skytrans – which is part-owned by Former Queensland and Cowboys star Johnathan Thurston, is part of an Australian collaboration pioneering hydrogen propulsion technology for commercial aircraft.

Chief Executive Officer Alan Milne (right above) said: “We are proud to be leading the nation in developing its hydrogen industry and we want to play a leading role in showing that this technology can work in aviation.

“The impacts of climate change are concerning for local communities and that’s why we are playing a major role in reducing the environmental impact of aviation.”

As part of the project, Stralis Aircraft will design, build and flight test an integrated HEPS centred around an airworthy electric motor. They are looking for strategic partners to develop a megawatt-class fuel cell system suitable for their application.

Stralis Aircraft co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Stuart Johnstone (left above) said the project also presents new opportunities for the local industry to upskill and scale-up advanced manufacturing capabilities, bringing aircraft manufacturing onto Australian shores.

“Queensland is ramping up its capacity to produce green hydrogen, ‘bottled sunshine, from local wind and solar resources. Stralis will take advantage of this to help companies like Skytrans continue to provide affordable air travel as the world transitions to Net Zero,” he said.

“This could be a win for Queensland industry and support their efforts to transition to a low carbon economy.”

Mr Johnstone said developing this innovative technology will allow them to access the $3.4 billion a year medium-sized turboprop market.

“As green hydrogen drops in price, it will become price competitive with fossil fuels within the next 5 years and we want to be well-positioned to capitalise on the opportunities from this technology. When the B1900D-HE enters service in 2026, it will have comparable operating costs to a conventional 19-seat turboprop aircraft and 25 per cent less operating costs by 2035,” he said.

Griffith University is providing support to the ground-breaking project through the Climate Ready Initiative, drawing on the university’s expertise in climate transition, aviation and tourism.

According to Griffith’s Climate Ready Initiative Program Manager Dr Emma Whittlesea, “the project is a major step forward in progressing solutions to transform one of the most challenging sectors to decarbonise.

”Progress in cutting emissions in the sector has been limited and quite disappointing to date,” she said. “Studies show almost a third of global travellers feel ashamed to fly because of its impact on the environment.”

The retrofit Stralis B1900D-HE will have a range of 800 km and will have the capacity to carry 15 passengers. The first test flight is expected to be completed in early 2025, with certification and entry into service in 2026.

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MH370 NEXT OF KIN PLEA FOR MALAYSIA TO SHOW COMMITMENT https://www.airlineratings.com/news/mh370-next-kin-plea-malaysia-show-commitment/ https://www.airlineratings.com/news/mh370-next-kin-plea-malaysia-show-commitment/#respond Wed, 29 Jun 2022 05:42:40 +0000 https://www.airlineratings.com/?p=67124 The next of kin of those lost in the tragic disappearance of MH370 has pleaded with Malaysia to show commitment to finding the missing Boeing 777. The following was posted on FB by one of the next of kin and this reflects the sentiment of many. For privacy, we have omitted the name of the […]

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The next of kin of those lost in the tragic disappearance of MH370 has pleaded with Malaysia to show commitment to finding the missing Boeing 777.

The following was posted on FB by one of the next of kin and this reflects the sentiment of many. For privacy, we have omitted the name of the NOK.

“I have said this many times: The Govt of Malaysia has for many years shown little commitment to search for MH370. It has for all intents and purposes abandoned even a pretence of sincerity in the search and investigation, frequently taking cover behind its ask for ‘credible new evidence’ of the plane’s location, and invoking an obligation to consult with China and Australia governed by the past agreement.

“The Govt of Malaysia should clarify:

A. What has it done since 2017 to find ‘credible new evidence?

B. Who bears the responsibility to find the evidence to resume the search, if not itself?

C. What are its principal objections to a ‘no find, no fee’ open offer to international organizations with proven credentials in marine search operations?

D. Are China and Australia committed to finding MH370? What are their reservations/objections if any? Is consultation a diplomatic courtesy or a requirement? If a requirement, is such tripartite consultation, valid in perpetuity?

E. As the flag State, does it still see itself as the lead in the search and investigation with responsibility towards a range of domestic and international stakeholders – families, regulators, civilian passengers, airlines, etc.?

F. Under International law and Conventions, when does it cease to have responsibility/obligations for all things MH370? The one thing that, after all these years since MH370 vanished, still gets me riled up is when confronted by the cold truth that governments can just slam the door shut, wait out the passage of time and events, usher the new to crowd out the old, and let anger and fury hang suspended. Maybe it becomes easier when expectations are extinguished.

“I think one key point that needs to be asked is since Malaysia is always using the term credible new evidence…. are they actually expecting it to fall from the sky or some random guy out there is going to produce it for them?

“Are they not missing the point that it is actually their very own responsibility to find this evidence? What have they done in finding any evidence whatsoever?

“Is there any one thing that Malaysia has done that can help find the plane? If they had any brains, they should just accept what the good Samaritans out there have done for Malaysia… including the no-brainer offer from OI (Ocean Infinity) to do the No Cure No Fee offer.”

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GEOFFREY THOMAS ON AIR NZ’S NEW BUNK BEDS https://www.airlineratings.com/news/geoffrey-thomas-air-nzs-new-bunk-beds/ https://www.airlineratings.com/news/geoffrey-thomas-air-nzs-new-bunk-beds/#respond Wed, 29 Jun 2022 04:51:41 +0000 https://www.airlineratings.com/?p=67120 Airlineratings.com Editor-in-Chief has appeared on Ticker News to discuss Air New Zealand’s revolutionary cabin for its new 787s. The Air New Zealand offering is divided into seven products or subproducts. Business Premier Luxe This class combines the new Business Premier suite with closing doors for privacy and there is a tad more space. Business Premier […]

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Airlineratings.com Editor-in-Chief has appeared on Ticker News to discuss Air New Zealand’s revolutionary cabin for its new 787s.

The Air New Zealand offering is divided into seven products or subproducts.

Business Premier Luxe

This class combines the new Business Premier suite with closing doors for privacy and there is a tad more space.

Business Premier

A new suite for business class travellers (above) with all the latest refinements for storage and comfort

Premium Economy

The airline’s premium economy was the industry’s best and it’s about to get better with more privacy and protected space where you can recline at leisure without interrupting the person behind.

Economy Skynest

When it’s time to swap the headrest for some bedrest you can book some horizontal time in this six-bed pod. It is available for premium economy and economy travellers.

Economy Skycouch

The airline’s award-winning Skycouch (below) is a sensational product and perfect for couples or parents with children.

 

Economy Stretch

As the name suggests – more room to stretch with the seat pitch of 35 inches (89cm) rather than the usual 31 to 32 inches (79-81.5cm)

Economy seat

The airline is adding an enhanced economy seat with more storage, comfort and space and a 50 per cent bigger screen for entertainment (below). Connect to Bluetooth audio and pair your device to act as a remote control or second screen.

The eight 787-9 Dreamliners arriving from 2024 and retrofitted current 787-9 fleet will have either eight or four Business Premier Luxe seats, 42 or 22 Business Premier, 52 or 33 Premium Economy, 125 or 213 Economy seats, and specifically on the ultra-long-haul aircraft, six Skynest sleep pods.

 

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AIR NEW ZEALAND UNVEILS THE FUTURE OF FLYING – AND IT’S STUNNING! https://www.airlineratings.com/news/air-new-zealand-unveils-the-future-of-flying-and-its-stunning/ https://www.airlineratings.com/news/air-new-zealand-unveils-the-future-of-flying-and-its-stunning/#comments Tue, 28 Jun 2022 17:00:41 +0000 https://www.airlineratings.com/?p=67092 Air New Zealand has reinvented flying again – and it’s spectacular. More choice and more comfort, than any other airline, regardless of which class you fly is promised from its next batch of Boeing 787s to be delivered from 2024. This choice includes Skynest (above), the world’s first sleep pods in the sky for economy […]

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Air New Zealand has reinvented flying again – and it’s spectacular.

More choice and more comfort, than any other airline, regardless of which class you fly is promised from its next batch of Boeing 787s to be delivered from 2024.

This choice includes Skynest (above), the world’s first sleep pods in the sky for economy travellers.

Launched this week, the airline said that feedback from extensive customer research over five years has highlighted the importance of a good night’s sleep and the need for more space and comfort, so the new travel experience is designed around creating a home away from home that leaves customers refreshed and raring to go at their destination.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran points to the airline’s ambition to create the greatest flying experience and says the new cabin, combined with world-leading Kiwi hospitality, is the winning formula.

Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand chief executive officer Greg Foran (right) and Chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty in the mockup of the Business Premier Luxe product.

“New Zealand’s location puts us in a unique position to lead on the ultra-long-haul travel experience. We have zeroed in on sleep, comfort, and wellness because we know how important it is for our customers to arrive well-rested. Whether they are heading straight into a meeting, or to their first-holiday hotspot – they want to hit the ground running.

“It’s a proud moment to finally unveil five years of hard mahi (work), in what truly is a cabin of possibility. One that will provide customers with options to get some shut-eye wherever they’re sitting.”

READ: Tim Clark: I would build another A380 only twice the size.

SEE: Geoffrey Thomas discusses airport chaos

Innovation has driven the new cabin experience from nose to tail. For economy customers, the Skynest concept, first announced in 2020, will be a world-first.

“We wanted to offer our economy customers a lie-flat option and that’s how Skynest was born. It will be a real game-changer for the economy travel experience,” Mr Foran said.

Chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty says the cabin’s interior design is inspired by the uniqueness of Aotearoa (New Zealand), from the forest-inspired carpet to the seats that draw inspiration from New Zealand’s native bird, the Tui.

“Whether we are welcoming visitors or flying New Zealanders home, we want our customers to experience Aotearoa from the moment they step on board – and get the best night’s rest.

“Research shows us the first night away from home is the hardest to get a good night’s sleep so everything we do on board is to help create a sense of calm – from the lighting and sleep ritual including sleepy teas and balms to the healthier food choices and breathable fabrics. Meditative onscreen content, and entertainment, will also help customers unwind and get ready for rest.

The airline has also added a Sky Pantry to the Premium Economy and Economy cabins, so customers can stretch their legs, grab a bite to eat and hydrate at their leisure throughout their journey.

The Air New Zealand offering is divided into seven products or subproducts.

Business Premier Luxe

This class combines the new Business Premier suite with closing doors for privacy and there is a tad more space.

Business Premier

A new suite for business class travellers (above) with all the latest refinements for storage and comfort

Premium Economy

The airline’s premium economy was the industry’s best and it’s about to get better with more privacy and protected space where you can recline at leisure without interrupting the person behind.

Economy Skynest

When it’s time to swap the headrest for some bedrest you can book some horizontal time in this six-bed pod. It is available for premium economy and economy travellers.

Economy Skycouch

The airline’s award-winning Skycouch (below) is a sensational product and perfect for couples or parents with children.

 

Economy Stretch

As the name suggests – more room to stretch with the seat pitch of 35 inches (89cm) rather than the usual 31 to 32 inches (79-81.5cm)

Economy seat

The airline is adding an enhanced economy seat with more storage, comfort and space and a 50 per cent bigger screen for entertainment (below). Connect to Bluetooth audio and pair your device to act as a remote control or second screen.

The eight 787-9 Dreamliners arriving from 2024 and retrofitted current 787-9 fleet will have either eight or four Business Premier Luxe seats, 42 or 22 Business Premier, 52 or 33 Premium Economy, 125 or 213 Economy seats, and specifically on the ultra-long-haul aircraft, six Skynest sleep pods.

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AIRLINE RATINGS GEOFFREY THOMAS DISCUSSES AIRPORT CHAOS https://www.airlineratings.com/news/airline-ratings-geoffrey-thomas-discusses-airport-chaos/ https://www.airlineratings.com/news/airline-ratings-geoffrey-thomas-discusses-airport-chaos/#respond Sat, 25 Jun 2022 05:31:17 +0000 https://www.airlineratings.com/?p=67084 Airlineratings.com Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas has appeared on Channel 7’s Weekend Sunrise to discuss the long delays at airports impacting Australian travellers in Sydney and Melbourne. Mr Thomas referenced the overall shortage of staff and the impact of COVID with airlines reporting up to 30 per cent of rostered staff calling in sick with COVID. The […]

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Airlineratings.com Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas has appeared on Channel 7’s Weekend Sunrise to discuss the long delays at airports impacting Australian travellers in Sydney and Melbourne.

Mr Thomas referenced the overall shortage of staff and the impact of COVID with airlines reporting up to 30 per cent of rostered staff calling in sick with COVID.

The situation is global and far worse in Europe.

About AirlineRatings.com

Airlineratings.com was developed to provide everyone in the world a one-stop shop for everything related to airlines, formed by a team of aviation editors, who have forensically researched nearly every airline in the world.

Our rating system is rated from one to seven stars on safety – with seven being the highest ranking. Within each airline, you will find the country of origin, airline code, booking URL and seat map information. The rating system takes into account a number of different factors related to audits from aviation’s governing bodies, lead associations, as well as the airlines, own safety data. Every airline has a safety rating breakdown so you can see exactly how they rate.

Over 230 of the airlines on the site that carry 99 per cent of the world’s passengers have a product rating. Given that low-cost, regional and full-service carriers are so different we have constructed a different rating system for each which can be found within each airline.

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SOLOMON AIRLINES WELCOMES RELAXED QUARANTINE RULES https://www.airlineratings.com/news/solomon-airlines-welcomes-relaxed-quarantine-rules/ https://www.airlineratings.com/news/solomon-airlines-welcomes-relaxed-quarantine-rules/#respond Sat, 25 Jun 2022 03:08:40 +0000 https://www.airlineratings.com/?p=67081 Solomon Airlines has welcomed the news that mandatory quarantine requirements for inbound visitors will be reduced shortly, with a new international schedule effective from  August 1, 2002, re-introducing regular flights between the Solomon Islands and Australia, Fiji, Vanuatu and Kiribati, and connections to partner airline services from New Zealand, Asia and the USA. “Reopening our […]

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Solomon Airlines has welcomed the news that mandatory quarantine requirements for inbound visitors will be reduced shortly, with a new international schedule effective from  August 1, 2002, re-introducing regular flights between the Solomon Islands and Australia, Fiji, Vanuatu and Kiribati, and connections to partner airline services from New Zealand, Asia and the USA.

“Reopening our borders is a major milestone that means Solomon Airlines can again open up our flights and network to the world,” said Solomon Airlines CEO Brett Gebers.

“That means gradual recovery of inbound tourism, more opportunities for international air freight, and that our optimism about the future of air travel in our region has proved well-founded,” said Mr Gebers.

“On behalf of the Solomon Airlines team, we thank the Solomon Islands Government, the Australia and New Zealand Governments, and our business and industry partners for standing by us and helping us to keep our nation flying through our most difficult era ever.

“Our immediate priority now is to re-establish our core Pacific Islands network and ensure convenient connections from global markets especially NZ, Asia, the United States, and Europe via Brisbane and Fiji,” Mr Gebers said.

Solomon Airlines CEO Brett Gebers

Solomon Airlines’ new international schedule effective from August 1, 2022, will include flight times that enable same-day connections at least twice weekly to and from all major international markets.

The airline has also adjusted timings on selected domestic flights to Munda, Gizo, Seghe, and Suavanao to allow for direct connections from international services on the Brisbane-Honiara route.

Highlights of the new schedule from August 1. include:
• Brisbane-Honiara flights twice weekly and a third Brisbane-Honiara flight every fortnight
• Honiara-Brisbane flights twice weekly
• Honiara-Port Vila-Nadi-Honiara flights every Tuesday
• Brisbane-Tarawa flights via Honiara to operate fortnightly
• Tarawa-Brisbane direct flights to operate fortnightly
• Direct connection on Wednesdays from Munda onto the Honiara-Brisbane service
• Lomlom gains a second weekly service to and from Honiara via Santa Cruz on Tuesdays and Thursdays
• Honiara-Auki-Honiara services will operate twice daily on Monday in the morning and afternoon

Solomon Airlines said COVID-19 safety protocols include a requirement for passengers to wear face masks onboard all Solomon Airlines flights will continue to support the protection of passengers and staff.

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WHY WOULDN’T MALAYSIA WANT TO FIND MH370? https://www.airlineratings.com/news/why-wouldnt-malaysia-want-to-find-mh370/ https://www.airlineratings.com/news/why-wouldnt-malaysia-want-to-find-mh370/#respond Sat, 25 Jun 2022 02:49:16 +0000 https://www.airlineratings.com/?p=67070 MH370 debris hunter Blaine Gibson is stunned by the Malaysian Government’s apparent reluctance to approve a new, no find no fee, search by Ocean Infinity. “If they won’t sign a no find no fee contract for another search one has to ask are they more afraid of not finding the plane, or of finding it? […]

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MH370 debris hunter Blaine Gibson is stunned by the Malaysian Government’s apparent reluctance to approve a new, no find no fee, search by Ocean Infinity.

“If they won’t sign a no find no fee contract for another search one has to ask are they more afraid of not finding the plane, or of finding it? and why?

Last week after a meeting with OI CEO Oliver Plunkett the Malaysia Minister of Transport Siri Wee Ka Siong in Kuala Lumpur the minister said: “he wanted more details.”

The new evidence, from revolutionary work by British Aerospace engineer Richard Godfrey, which has been peer-reviewed by 3 universities and OI pinpoints a precise location 1933km west of Perth, Western Australia.

Blaine Gibson, who has found more pieces of debris than any other person, says; “It is Ocean Infinity’s risk, money, ships, equipment, technology, and personnel. Malaysian officials don’t need to do or pay anything unless the plane is found.

“There is no excuse for Malaysian officials to be micromanaging and second-guessing Ocean Infinity’s decision and expertise. If the evidence is new and credible enough for Ocean Infinity to assume all the risk of another search, that should be good enough for Malaysia and everyone.”

MH370

Mr Gibson says that various conspiracy theorists are muddying the waters and “may be having the effect of giving Malaysian politicians and bureaucrats the excuse to do what they really want, which is nothing.

“The University of Western Australia drift analysis concluded the most likely MH370 crash site is in latitudes 32 and 33. That drift analysis predicted where and when debris would arrive and guided me to find and collect from locals about twenty pieces of the plane.

“This new technology WSPR analysis [from Richard Godfrey] puts the 370 crash site within the southern portion of the UWA recommended area.

“The louder the objection from the usual suspects to searching in that area, the more convinced I am that is where the 370 underwater wreckage lies. There is no excuse for Malaysian officials to refuse to accept this generous professional offer, sign the contract, and let the search move forward.

“It must be done not only for the MH370 families, but also for the flying public, and all people who seek justice and truth.

“If they won’t sign a no find no fee contract for another search one has to ask are they more afraid of not finding the plane, or of finding it? and why?”

Mr Gibson with some of the MH370 debris

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MH370 TRACKING EXPERT DEMONSTRATES HIS TECHNOLOGY ONCE AGAIN https://www.airlineratings.com/news/industry-news/mh370-tracking-expert-demonstrates-technology/ https://www.airlineratings.com/news/industry-news/mh370-tracking-expert-demonstrates-technology/#respond Sat, 25 Jun 2022 02:11:19 +0000 https://www.airlineratings.com/?p=67072 MH370 tracking expert Richard Godfrey has once again demonstrated the WSPRnet GDTAAA technology by tracking Emirates flight EK421 from Perth to Dubai across the Indian Ocean in a new paper. Last year Mr Godfrey revealed a probable location for MH370 of 1933km west of Perth using WSPRnet and GDTAAA technology. Based on his extensive work, […]

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MH370 tracking expert Richard Godfrey has once again demonstrated the WSPRnet GDTAAA technology by tracking Emirates flight EK421 from Perth to Dubai across the Indian Ocean in a new paper.

Last year Mr Godfrey revealed a probable location for MH370 of 1933km west of Perth using WSPRnet and GDTAAA technology. Based on his extensive work, and three peer reviews, Ocean Infinity is expected to start a new search for the Boeing 777 that went missing on March 8, 2014, with 239 souls aboard next January.

READ: WSPRnet explained

The new paper authored by Mr Godfrey and Dr Hannes Coetzee found:

“Emirates flight EK421 on 1st June 2022 from Perth, Australia to Dubai, UAE took 10 hours 31 minutes. The aircraft operating this flight was a Boeing 777-300ER and departed Perth International Airport at 14:26 UTC arriving at Dubai International Airport at 00:57 UTC.

“The Emirates flight EK421 on 1st June 2022 was successfully detected and tracked over the Indian Ocean. 17 position indicators and 46 progress indicators allowed flight tracking over a 3-hour period. The intersections of multiple WSPRnet links align with the estimated position of the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and these WSPRnet links show SNR, drift or dual anomalies for the particular WSPRnet links involved within the 3-hour analysis time frame. These indicators allow an absolute determination of the aircraft’s position at 17 points in time and a likely determination of the aircraft’s position at 46 further points in time. The resulting aircraft track aligns with the ADS-B data from FlightAware where available.

Emirates Boeing 777 new first class

“The flight route is almost entirely over the Indian Ocean and at 18:46 UTC crosses the estimated flight path of MH370 which disappeared on 8th March 2014 in the Southern Indian Ocean. ADS-B data from FlightAware is available for almost 6 hours of the flight in 3 parts, firstly near Australia, secondly near Sri Lanka and India and finally near Oman. There is a total gap of 4.6 hours over the Indian Ocean where the aircraft is out of range of land-based ADS-B receivers.”

“The WSPRnet position indicators were more frequent during the phases in the flight where the aircraft was climbing, turning, experiencing turbulence or crossing a coastline. The large wing area of a Boeing 777-300ER of 438.2 m2 offers a good reflective surface for ionospheric radio waves for backscatter. The fuselage of 73.9 m in length offers a smaller deflective surface. Hence we found much more backscatter than forward scatter,” the report said.

READ the full report here:

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EMIRATES CLARK: I WOULD BUILD ANOTHER A380 TWICE THE SIZE https://www.airlineratings.com/news/emirates-clark-build-another-a380-twice-size/ https://www.airlineratings.com/news/emirates-clark-build-another-a380-twice-size/#respond Sat, 25 Jun 2022 00:41:20 +0000 https://www.airlineratings.com/?p=67058 Emirates long-time and highly respected President Sir Tim Clark wants a new A380 design – just twice the size! This past week he was at the IATA AGM in Doha and then in Berlin, to try to pry landing rights in the German capital from the government, something he’s failed to achieve for one and […]

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Emirates long-time and highly respected President Sir Tim Clark wants a new A380 design – just twice the size!

This past week he was at the IATA AGM in Doha and then in Berlin, to try to pry landing rights in the German capital from the government, something he’s failed to achieve for one and a half decades.

And again, the chancellor and his cabinet gave Emirates the cold shoulder, engaging in pure “Lufthansa speak” as Clark calls it. Between meetings at the chancellery and other ministries, the Emirates President made time to speak exclusively to Andreas Spaeth, AirlineRatings.com European Editor, about some wider personal and industry issues.

Sir Tim Clark with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on the stairs to an A380.

How did aviation get into the post-pandemic mess it currently finds itself in throughout Europe and other parts of the world?

Sir Tim Clark: I said it many times over the last couple of years: The bow wave is coming. You have to prepare, there is a tsunami of demand coming. Nobody was listening, and now we face big problems with airports like Heathrow and Amsterdam breaking down. We prepared ourselves in Dubai and in the airline for this, we got our fleet ready, we are still getting crews coming in, but we opened all five terminals at Dubai airport in October of last year. And I could see for myself that Hamad International Airport in Doha was packed in the morning peak this week, with not enough seats available and me not even been admitted to the overcrowded lounge. They see the same bow wave as we are.

How do you see things going forward?

Demand is strong and sustained, we are looking at our bookings from July to September and Christmas, they are soaring above 2019 levels, even at the prices, we are now having to charge due to the fuel price surge. The question is how long is this going to last before the global economy starts to tip with interest rates going up and inflation rising and fuel prices at these ridiculous levels, this is unsustainable, it shouldn’t be out there anywhere. But I’ve been faced with recessions about 50 times in the 50 years I’ve been here, I’ll deal with it if it happens rather than restrict capacity before because somebody says there is going to be a recession.

READ: Qantas to launch JoBurg and Jakarta flights from Perth

READ: US scraps inbound COVID testing

READ Changi to open more terminals 

Talking about your long time in aviation, can you sketch some of the main underlining scenarios of the industry during your half-century being an integral part of it?

Of all the facets, be it fleet, aircraft design, aero-politics, commercialism, things like the move from the aero-political pre-determinist models that used to drive everything, to the complete sweep up to the multilateralism of the 1990s driven by the Clinton government, which said let’s knock down all these old barriers and whose mantra was open skies, it was transformation. Not just for Emirates. By luck, the Americans said to the world: If you want to fly to America, you have to do an open skies agreement with us. That’s what set the model for the whole world. It gave us exactly what we needed to grow our business at a pace. This was the best thing that could have happened to this little airline of ten or 15 aircraft, and so we started. I remember reshaping the business plans. Emirates was a child of the new world order with regards to liberalization. By the late 1990s, the more we scaled I realized we weren’t gonna meet the demands we thought would happen by mid of the first decade of the new millennium.

How was your reaction?

That’s why we entered the A380 debate in February 2000. Then the A380 was so transformational, as was the Boeing 777-300ER. When all those barriers dropped away, suddenly there was this ocean of opportunity opening up aero-politically, we could basically go anywhere. So we created the biggest sixth freedom model that the world has ever seen. And that caused all sorts of mayhem. I guess Emirates was at the right time at the right place. For me personally, the aero-political drop-down was most significant as was our ability to engage with the manufacturers to design the aircraft that we wanted for the medium to long-haul. We are having a big say in that, illustrated by both the latest Boeing 777-9, but also the Airbus A330-200, A340-500 of course, bless it, and the A350-900 because it was built for us. I asked them to build a 777-200 lookalike, which is what they did, but it just came out eleven tons too heavy so we walked from the contract. But now we are going back in again. We didn’t set out to influence the industry, we just changed the industry’s thinking.

You define your job in a much more universal way, being hands-on on so many fronts down to drawing detailed design sketches yourselves…

Yes I do that, and I’m still designing, I’m still changing products and all these kinds of things. The guys in our company know how I think, they may be just a bit nervous because I’m at the top of the chain, I can make these and I can execute. These guys may have very good ideas but worry about me not liking them. I look from the micro to the macro, having done the wall coverings of the A380, the shower redesign, the showers themselves and many others. It’s been a journey for me which has been so fascinating. These other CEOs, my peer group, are not interested in it.

Was this kind of creative penchant rarely seen in airline leaders something you already had early on?

When I came to market age of 22 and I looked around me as a young planner and I thought this can’t last how we do things at British Caledonian at the time. This is all wrong, this is not sustainable in the next twenty years. That’s one of the reasons I left and went to Gulf Air, I was frustrated. When I then came from Gulf Air to Emirates, I was given a clean sheet of paper with Maurice Flanagan and Sheikh Mohamed saying: There you are, get on with it, and they never interjected. When I came onto the A380, I felt like an artist with an empty canvas. You could actually get out and do it.

It recently sounded as if you would stay on in your top job at least until early 2023, is that true?

By the end of the current financial year on March 31st, 2023 I hope we will close out with a profit and cash on the balance sheet. I’m not saying my job is done, but I didn’t want to go. I was torn, even though I said I was going to go, I felt really worried about going at that point in time, so I said I’ll stay until we get it right again. But we are still not there yet. It was a kind of personal thing for me really, there were all sorts of issues with my family and what I was gonna do and what I promised them all, but OK, this happened, I’ll stay, and after that, we’ll see what happens.

Emirates President Sir Tim Clark

One big gap you see and raised with Airbus is the lack of any new very large aircraft project on the horizon. Will that backfire at one point?

What have you got there, A380 gone, 747-8 gone, 777-9 looking decidedly flaky, I don’t know what’s going on with that, that leaves you with the A350-900 and -1000 as your largest widebodies, what else is there going forward? You’ve got to look at the mid-2030s, and if you what a bigger beast, and you have to believe that, so I say, extrapolate and recapture the pre-2019 growth curve, take it out to the mid-2030s, unconstrained, 4% growth per annum, where does it get you? Eight billion people travelling. How are you going to accommodate that eight billion if you leave it to the single aisles and the small twins? You won’t be able to accommodate it and you suppress demand and the prices will rocket for airfares, so the days of cheap airfares will go because prices will be so high because that’s all we can do.

What do you suggest?

The trick is to come up with an aeroplane that does all of that but is technologically so advanced it can embrace synthetic fuels and work on them in the mid-2030s. I   met with Guillaume Faury of Airbus to start that thinking going, and get an answer to the question: Guys, is this it? He sold out on the single aisles, he’s probably going to sell out on the A350s because of the demise of what’s going on at Boeing, I don’t know what’s happening there. In the end, you have to think about the future.

In which direction should thinking go?

If you’ve got environmentally friendly propulsion using synthetic fuel, you need to ask what then would be the sizing of the aircraft that you need to meet the medium to long-haul demands for super connectors like us and other carriers. Don’t tell me that everybody is going down to 234 seats in four classes on the 777-9 when they have 519 seats on the A380. You need to do something, otherwise, you go out of business. I hope that collectively, we can find a way, to get our minds together to decide what is that aircraft going to look like? Lighter, faster, and cheap to operate, you then have the propulsions which possibly work off synthetic fuel, partly or 100% eventually. I would build another A380 twice the size because of the zero-emissions engines we have now, with four, possibly three engines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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QANTAS TO REWARD STAFF AS TRAFFIC REBOUNDS ON EASED RESTRICTIONS https://www.airlineratings.com/news/qantas-reward-staff-traffic-rebounds-eased-restrictions/ https://www.airlineratings.com/news/qantas-reward-staff-traffic-rebounds-eased-restrictions/#respond Fri, 24 Jun 2022 07:08:27 +0000 https://www.airlineratings.com/?p=67052 Qantas’ 19,000 staff will each get a A$5000 one-off bonus as strong travel demand across the airline’s domestic and international networks drives down net debt to below pre-COVID levels. But the Flying Kangaroo has warned passengers that changes to capacity limits would stretch into early next year as the airline grapples with higher fuel costs. […]

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Qantas’ 19,000 staff will each get a A$5000 one-off bonus as strong travel demand across the airline’s domestic and international networks drives down net debt to below pre-COVID levels.

But the Flying Kangaroo has warned passengers that changes to capacity limits would stretch into early next year as the airline grapples with higher fuel costs.

In a trading update released on Friday, Qantas said after peaking at more than A$6.4 billion at the height of the pandemic, net debt was expected to fall to about A$4b by June 30 — an improvement of about A$1.5b in the past six months and fuelled by a surge in travel demand after the pandemic.

However, Qantas is still forecasting a significant loss for the financial year that includes the worst of the Delta and Omicron impacts as well as restart costs. It said it remains on track for a second-half profit before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of between A$450 million and A$550m.

It has forecast a return to underlying profit nest financial year.

In acknowledging the pressure on staff and the impact COVID had on the airline as it recovers from the pandemic, Qantas said up to 19,000 EBA-covered employees across the network will get $5000.

The payment will be made once new enterprise agreements are finalised. Nine agreements covering some 4000 employees have been finalised already and will be paid shortly.

“It’s been a tough few years for everyone in aviation but we promised to share the benefits of the recovery once it arrived. Today’s announcement is part of that,” chief executive Alan Joyce said.

The cost of the payments is estimated to be about $87m this financial year.

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READ Changi to open more terminals 

Qantas said it was working with industry partners to ease the travel experience for its passengers during the upcoming school holiday peak, with a 15 per cent increase in ground-handling staff compared with the Easter holidays. Airports are also increasing their security screening resources and Qantas will have 20 per cent more staff on standby to minimise any impact of sick leave.

The airline said it was adjusting its domestic capacity levels for much of the next financial year to assist with the recovery of sustained high fuel prices.

It has removed 5 per cent capacity for July and August, and will now remove 15 per cent capacity for September and 10 per cent from October through to March next year.

Qantas said the reductions, combined with robust international and domestic travel demand, were expected to help it recover the higher cost of fuel indicated by forward oil prices. They will also help with the near-term resourcing pressures being felt across aviation and the broader economy.

The airline said the customer impacts from the schedule changes were expected to be minimal, with capacity being removed mostly from high-frequency routes.

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