Thursday, September 29, 2022
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Stunning Pictures Of The Space X Launch Captured From C-17 Transport

Space X

Stunning pictures of the Space X launch have been taken from a C-17 cockpit over the Atlantic Ocean.

The pictures were taken by @mavliocca and posted by @Combat_learjet.

The launch was on Saturday, September 24 at 7:32 p.m. ET, and SpaceX launched 52 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

This was the fourth launch and landing for this Falcon 9 first-stage booster, which previously launched SES-22 and now three Starlink missions.

easyjet launches ambitious net-zero program

Cathay Pacific Airways welcomes end to HK quarantine

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.

Finnair Hard Hit By Russian Airspace Closure Bounces Back

Finnair

Finnair, which will celebrate its hundredth anniversary in late 2023, has been hard hit by the closure of Russian airspace – its quick access to Asia – but it is fighting back.

The airline with a fleet of 80 aircraft and almost 15 million passengers annually carried pre-pandemic looks back on a proud history, but this year lost its unique market niche almost overnight, after building it to perfection over almost four decades.

The airline started the first non-stop flight from Western Europe to East Asia in 1983. At the time it was not permitted to use Soviet airspace, but due to Helsinki’s location in the far north-eastern corner of Europe, a modified DC-10-30ER with additional fuel tanks was able to do the trick and reach Tokyo in 13 hours via the North Pole.

A big advantage at a time when almost all passenger flights from Europe and North America to Japan had to put in a fuel stop in Anchorage, Alaska. That stretched the elapsed travel time to 16 hours.

In 1994, Finnair was able to enter Russian airspace after a few minutes of flying east of Helsinki and reached Tokyo on this shortcut route in just about nine hours.

Finnair and Helsinki Airport evolved their business model to perfection, adapting everything to swift transfers and the needs of Asian passengers. No other airport in Europe sports signage in the terminal’s transfer areas in English plus Mandarin, Korean, Japanese and Russian. The airport has just finished an ambitious expansion programme stretching over a decade and costing about a billion Euros.

Airport signs in five languages

The whole concept collapsed in February 2022 when Russia invaded Ukraine and the country closed its airspace for all European Union-based airlines days later, while Chinese, Indian, Arab or Turkish carriers continue to take advantage of these cherished shortcuts over Russia.

“Finland is the world’s most affected country by the Russian airspace closure due to its geography, it is a big problem for sure, you cannot deny that. No other airport has been hit worse by it than Helsinki,” admits airport director Ulla Lettijeff in talking to Airlineratings.com

“We need to fight and generate as much income as possible and somehow fill the gap created by the war and the pandemic.”

easyjet launches ambitious net-zero program

Cathay Pacific Airways welcomes end to HK quarantine

On February 26th, 2022, the good times for Finnair seemingly ended abruptly. That was the last time flight AY073 from Helsinki to Tokyo could take its usual path over Russia. Now, it flies a new route to Tokyo, which is actually the old one of the 1980s via the North Pole. Instead of 7,900 km, the distance the Airbus A350 has to cover is now almost 13,000 km, taking over 13 hours in the air and using more than 40 per cent or 20 tons more fuel.

As a small consolation to passengers, Finnair has rolled out its once-famed North Pole certificate again, commemorating overflying the world’s northernmost point. The route to Tokyo is the only connection heading over the pole, while the return flights circumvent Russian territory to the South via Korea, China, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to Europe.

North Pole Certificate

“Our geographical advantage is gone, we are getting ready for the situation where Russian airspace will be closed for a long, long period of time, so in our new strategy we adapt to that reality,” Finnair CEO Topi Manner tells Airlineratings.com in an exclusive interview.

One major problem for Finnair is that China is still closed to normal air traffic, which used to be the carrier’s second biggest Asian market after Japan, both countries alone provided Finnair with almost a million passengers a year before the pandemic.

Between 2010 and 2018 alone, traffic to Asia had doubled, over 20 destinations were served from Helsinki, among them six cities in China and four in Japan, and almost a hundred flights a week headed to the Far East then, generating half of Finnair’s revenue.

But its CEO doesn’t want to give up this most lucrative market: “Do not discount Asia, Asia will still be very important for Finnair,” he insists.

While secondary cities such as Nanjing, Sapporo or Osaka will no longer be served, Finnair vies to keep its presence in Tokyo (moving from Narita to Haneda airport, saving passengers time on the ground), Seoul, Singapore, Bangkok and Phuket.

“Once China opens up, and we think it will, we have good chances to fly profitably to Shanghai and Beijing, even with Russian airspace being closed,” says Manner.

Also, Hong Kong and Guangzhou will be served again, plus Delhi and Mumbai.  “To provide connectivity from India to the US via Helsinki, India will be one of our growth markets, and the Middle East is another example,” stresses Manner. “The number of Asian destinations will decrease more than their share of the revenue. As yields are going up and once China opens up, Asia can still provide up to 30 per cent of our revenue, from initially just 20 to 25 per cent after the invasion.”

A major cornerstone of Finnair’s new strategy of adapting to a new world is close cooperation with its Oneworld alliance partner Qatar Airways. “Geography is changing due to the Russian invasion, and on the back of that changed geography, we have to change our strategy to establish a more geographically balanced network. This also means the importance of Doha as a hub between East and West is increasing,” stresses the CEO.

“We will fly daily Airbus A330 services from four cities in Europe to Doha starting in November and December, Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen plus a fourth to be announced. We are confident that these flights will be profitable for us, in total there’ll be 28 flights a week during the northern winter, roughly the same number of flights we had into China before the pandemic”, explains Manner.

As a geographical counterweight, Finnair also has introduced a new hub service in the US: “We have opened Dallas/Fort Worth as a new year-round destination to connect with the American Airlines hub, it started well. Our US flights were 90 per cent full in July and the majority of customers started their journey from the US,” reports Manner.

While other bigger airlines have constantly denounced the importance of alliances in recent years, for Finnair its affiliation has become a saviour: “We are benefitting from the Oneworld alliance quite a bit, I would say more than before the pandemic,” he reckons.

And only with such capable partners at hand as his fellow Oneworld carriers giving Finnair a new perspective, he can claim “we are and will continue to be a network airline,” while even envisaging becoming profitable again from 2024.

The Finns are definitely not sacrificing their once-lucrative business to the brutal tunes of their giant neighbour Russia.

Finnair growth Asia

Spectacular Queenstown Landing From The Cockpit

Below is a stunning video showing what is called an RNP (required navigation performance) approach to Queenstown New Zealand’s tiny airport nestled between mountains buried in clouds.

You will see a magnificent sunset scene and the aircraft sinks “blind” into clouds and emerges with the runway in sight.

But it is far from blind with RNP which is, in fact, a statement of the aircraft’s navigational performance and relates to the aircraft’s ability to use extremely accurate GPS signals.

These GPS signals are combined with the aircraft’s own internal navigation systems to create an accurate and stable navigation path.

RNP allows the Queenstown-bound flight to operate free of traditional ground-based aids.

Prior to approval for RNP operations, the aircraft’s navigation system is examined through its ability to fly the required flight path precisely over a series of proving flights in clear conditions.

RNP approaches and departures were pioneered by Alaskan Airlines in 1994 with 737-300s and later with Qantas with its 737-800s in September 2004 into Queenstown.

Queenstown airport is subject to low cloud conditions (cloud base above 400ft, but below 3000 ft) on an average of 36 days a year which prevents operations.

With a cost of a single diversion as high as $30,000, the business case is compelling.

The RNP approach to Queenstown involves passing through 19 very tight “gates” on the descent from 16,000ft. Those “gates” – or waypoints – are shown on the pilot’s primary flight display as limit markers both vertically and horizontally.

To perform the RNP approach the aircraft’s 12 key navigation-related systems must be working, and with redundancy that amounts to 25 separate independent systems working in perfect harmony.

This level of redundancy ensures that once an approach has commenced, single – or even in some cases multiple – failures will enable the crew to either continue with the landing or climb away from the destination airport without compromising safety.

But it is just not the operational demands of landing in Queenstown that is driving airline’s push into RNP operations.

Because of its high precision capability, RNP can save airlines millions of dollars in fuel costs by using much shorter – and mostly curved – approaches to airports.

Easyjet Launches Ambitious Net-Zero Roadmap As British Demand Environmental Travel

easyjet

Easyjet has launched the aviation world’s most ambitious plan to achieve net-zero carbon emission by 2050, in a new roadmap revealed by the airline today. 

The plan will see the airline reach net zero through a series of elements, with the ultimate ambition to be flying on zero carbon emission hydrogen-powered aircraft. easyJet says it is already working with partners across the industry, including Airbus and Rolls-Royce on several dedicated projects to accelerate the development of zero carbon emission aircraft technology.

The airline said this is complemented by carbon removal technology to physically remove carbon from the atmosphere and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) as an interim measure, as well as building on work the airline is already doing to make its everyday operations ever-more fuel efficient and advocating for airspace modernisation, to reduce the use of fuel by flying more direct routes.

The announcement comes as new research by easyjet has revealed that over three-quarters of the public (76 per cent) think that companies need to urgently set out how they will achieve net zero this century and demonstrate how they are operating more sustainably.

The same study showed that 82 per cent of Brits think that zero carbon emission flying, for example on hydrogen aircraft, is the best option to truly decarbonise aviation.

And it found 60 per cent of Brits are excited about the prospect of flying on zero carbon emission aircraft like hydrogen planes, with four in 10 confident they will see zero carbon emission planes within the next 15 years.

Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, said:

“Challenging the status quo is in easyJet’s DNA. Today, we’re the first airline to outline an ambitious roadmap in which zero carbon emission technology plays a key role to take us to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. And 82% of the British public agree with us, believing that zero carbon emission flying is the best approach to truly decarbonise aviation.

By implementing our roadmap step by step in the years to come, we’re committed to ensuring there is a sustainable future of aviation for the benefit of the next generation and our planet.”

The nationwide study of 2,000 British holidaymakers, conducted by easyJet, revealed that 78 per cent of respondents will choose an airline based on their sustainability credentials when travelling in the future and 70 per cent would commit to a ‘zero carbon emission’ holiday if it was available to them.

It also found that 76 per cent of travellers today actively seek to reduce the impact of their travel plans on the environment. These plans include taking a European holiday over a long-haul flight (33 per cent), choosing an airline which does more to fly sustainably (such as operating efficiently, with a high load factor and a young fleet (30 per cent), or choosing an eco-friendly hotel (30 per cent).

The Top 10 actions Brits undertake to help the environment when flying abroad are as follows:

1. Recycling food waste and plastic according to local guidelines (35%)

2. Taking a holiday in Europe to reduce emissions compared with long-haul flying (34%)

3. Choosing an airline which does more to fly sustainably (31%)

4. Choosing an eco-friendly hotel or accommodation (30%)

5. Choosing to walk and cycle when travelling around local areas (28%)

6. Eating and drinking local produce (such as local wine) (25%)

7. Limiting energy use in accommodation (such as turning lights off) (24%)

8. Using your phone instead of printing off flight and hotel bookings and itineraries (21%)

9. Conserving water by showering less (17%)

10. Avoiding damaging recreational activities to the local area (13%)

Additionally, 84 per cent of Brits care more about doing their bit for the planet while travelling today than they did 10 years ago. And whilst travelling abroad, over a third of Brits (38 per cent) feel it’s important to get to know the local community when visiting somewhere new.  Over half (56 per cent) of travellers think it’s important to support local eateries, and 32 per cent ensure they try and speak to the locals about their community and culture when holidaying in foreign climates.

AIR FRANCE SAFETY RATING DOWNGRADED

BOEING PUBLISHES ITS ANNUAL SAFETY REPORT

GEOFFREY THOMAS TALKS QANTAS ON SKYNEWS

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

Jetstar Announces New CEO

jetstar
Photo:Jetstar

The Qantas Group has appointed Stephanie Tully as the new Chief Executive Officer of its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar.

This announcement follows the shock resignation in June of current Jetstar CEO, Gareth Evans, who will depart the airline at the end of 2022.

Ms Tully joined Qantas in 2004 and has worked across operational, commercial, marketing and customer loyalty functions in progressively more senior roles. She has been a Group Executive and Chief Customer Officer since 2019.

As a result of this appointment, Qantas announced that Markus Svensson will be promoted to the Chief Customer Officer role and become a member of the Group Executive Committee reporting to the Group CEO.

Mr Svensson is currently the Executive Manager of Network, Revenue Management and Alliances, responsible for overseeing a large part of the commercial strategy for Qantas International and Qantas Domestic. He was previously Regional General Manager for Qantas in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. Before joining Qantas in 2011, Mr Svensson held senior roles at Bain and Co and in telecommunications in Australia, Sweden and Korea.

Announcing the changes, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said: “These appointments come at an important time for us. The team is working incredibly hard to overcome challenges facing the whole industry as it gets back on its feet, and the data shows we’re almost there.

“Managing this kind of executive renewal internally means we keep our momentum and can leverage a huge amount of corporate knowledge, including through the transition.

“Stephanie has worked across several different parts of the airline, from crewing to marketing, and has a deep understanding of customer experience. She’s an outstanding leader and she’ll be leading a very experienced senior team at Jetstar to keep building on the strengths of that business.

“Markus has navigated incredible levels of complexity in recent years, managing most of the commercial elements of the Qantas network through several waves of lockdown and recovery, and also managing our relationships with alliance partners around the world. His knowledge of airlines means he understands the many elements that have to work to deliver exceptional customer service, which is a key focus for us.

“Gareth has been a superb member of the Qantas Group Executive team for many years. We’re pleased to have his knowledge and experience in the months ahead to help with this transition and key projects in our recovery.”

AIR FRANCE SAFETY RATING DOWNGRADED

BOEING PUBLISHES ITS ANNUAL SAFETY REPORT

GEOFFREY THOMAS TALKS QANTAS ON SKYNEWS

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.

Cathay Pacific Airways Welcomes Lifting Of Hong Kong Quarantine

Cathay Pacific
Photo: Cathay Pacific.

Cathay Pacific says it welcomes the Hong Kong SAR Government’s latest measures to facilitate travel to Hong Kong, especially the decision to remove the hotel quarantine arrangement for passengers arriving in Hong Kong effective 26 September 2022.

The airline added that these adjustments will help boost sentiment for travel, thereby facilitating the gradual resumption of travel activities and strengthening of network connectivity to, from and through the Hong Kong aviation hub.

Cathay Pacific said it intends to add more than 200 pairs of passenger flights in October to both regional and long-haul destinations.

It added that in view of Japan’s relaxation of travel restrictions for inbound visitors, Cathay Pacific will resume daily flights to Tokyo (Haneda) from November 1 and four-times-weekly flights to Sapporo from December 1. It will also increase flight frequencies to Tokyo (Narita) to 43 pairs and Osaka to 50 pairs in October.

Cathay Pacific said that “as Hong Kong’s home airline, we are fully committed to rebuilding the connectivity of the Hong Kong aviation hub. While we will continue to add back more flights as quickly as is feasible, it will take time to rebuild our capacity gradually.”

AIR FRANCE SAFETY RATING DOWNGRADED

BOEING PUBLISHES ITS ANNUAL SAFETY REPORT

GEOFFREY THOMAS TALKS QANTAS ON SKYNEWS

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

Qatar Airways Wins World’s Best Airline in Skytrax Passenger Choice Ranking

qatar airways
A Qatar A350. Photo: Qatar

Qatar Airways has been voted the World’s Best Airline in Skytrax’s Passenger Choice rankings. The awards, which are only voted on by passengers, differ from Airlineratings.com Airline Excellence Awards, in that they only consider one factor – passenger preference.

Airlineratings.com awards announced in July also found Qatar Airways to be the World’s Best Airline but took into consideration a range of factors including;

  1. Safety
  2. Product
  3. Profitability
  4. Fleet age
  5. Environmental performance
  6. Passenger comments from two different sources

The Skytrax ratings are nonetheless important and we list them under;

THE WORLD’S TOP 20 AIRLINES IN 2022 

1. Qatar Airways

2. Singapore Airlines

3. Emirates

4. ANA All Nippon Airways

5. Qantas Airways

6. Japan Airlines

7. Turkish Airlines

8. Air France

9. Korean Air

10. Swiss Int’l Air Lines

11. British Airways

12. Etihad Airways

13. China Southern

14. Hainan Airlines

15. Lufthansa

16. Cathay Pacific

17. KLM

18. EVA Air

19. Virgin Atlantic

20. Vistara

21. Finnair

22. Gulf Air

23. Bangkok Airways

24. Delta Air Lines

25. Iberia

26. Ethiopian Airlines

27. AirAsia

28. Aegean Airlines

29. Scoot

30. Air New Zealand

31. Garuda Indonesia

32. Austrian

33. Asiana Airlines

34. Saudi Arabian Airlines

35. Southwest Airlines

36. Fiji Airways

37. Oman Air

38. Air Astana

39. WestJet

40. Ryanair

MAJOR CARRY-ON LUGGAGE FAIL!

CARRY-ON LUGGAGE

A male passenger has been caught on video trying to force his carry-on luggage into an overhead locker the wrong way.

His predicament was saved by a female flight attendant who simply turned the carry-on luggage around and the solution was found. Easy!

AIR FRANCE SAFETY RATING DOWNGRADED

BOEING PUBLISHES ITS ANNUAL SAFETY REPORT

GEOFFREY THOMAS TALKS QANTAS ON SKYNEWS

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.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A HELICOPTER LANDS TOO CLOSE TO ANOTHER?

helicopter

So what happens when one helicopter lands too close to another? Watch the video and find out!

It all happened at Stanstead Airport in the UK.

AIR FRANCE SAFETY RATING DOWNGRADED

BOEING PUBLISHES ITS ANNUAL SAFETY REPORT

GEOFFREY THOMAS TALKS QANTAS ON SKYNEWS

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.

UNITED AIRLINES 777 SHEDS SPARKS AND DEBRIS ON TAKE-OFF

United Airlines

A United Airlines Boeing 777 has suffered damage on take-off from Newark Airport in the US with debris and sparks showing from the jet.

According to Aviation Herald the United Airlines 777-200, registration N787UA was performing flight UA-149 from Newark,NJ (USA) to Sao Paulo Guarulhos,SP (Brazil) with 279 people on board, was climbing out of Newark’s runway 22L when the tower advised there had been sparks coming off the left- hand engine (PW4090).

The United Airlines crew advised all indications were normal and continued the climb advising departure they were talking to maintenance to see whether they had any downloadable information, as the plane was flying fine.

AV reported that the crew requested to level off at FL240. After holding for about 12 minutes the crew requested to dump fuel and return to Newark.

After dumping fuel for about 30 minutes the crew requested direct to Newark, positioned for an ILS approach to runway 22L and advised they needed no assistance on the ground. The aircraft landed safely on runway 22L, vacated the runway and taxied to the apron.

FULL REPORT HERE

AIR FRANCE SAFETY RATING DOWNGRADED

BOEING PUBLISHES ITS ANNUAL SAFETY REPORT

GEOFFREY THOMAS TALKS QANTAS ON SKYNEWS

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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