Wednesday, May 18, 2022
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IATA welcomes mask lifting for EU countries

COVID

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has welcomed new guidance from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) removing its recommendation that masks should be required in-flight.

EASA’s updated Aviation Health Safety Protocol, published May 11, 2022, calls for the mandatory mask rule to be relaxed where rules have been relaxed for other transport modes.

IATA said that this important shift reflects the high levels of vaccination, natural immunity levels, and the removal of domestic restrictions in many European nations. The updated guidance also acknowledges the need to move from an emergency situation to a more sustainable mode of managing COVID-19.

SEE the podcast: Flight Safety Detectives dissect the Netflix doco “Downfall”.

READ: Boeing will bounce back says world’s largest leasing company

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“We welcome EASA’s recommendation to relax the mask mandate, which is another important step along the road back to normality for air passengers. Travellers can look forward to the freedom of choice on whether to wear a mask. And they can travel with confidence knowing that many features of the aircraft cabin, such as high-frequency air exchange and high-efficiency filters, make it one of the safest indoor environments,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director-General.

IATA said that several jurisdictions still maintain mask requirements. That is a challenge for airlines and passengers flying between destinations with different requirements.

“We believe that mask requirement onboard aircraft should end when masks are no longer mandated in other parts of daily life, for example, theatres, offices or on public transport. Although the European protocol comes into effect next week, there is no globally consistent approach to mask-wearing onboard aircraft.

“Airlines must comply with the regulations applicable to the routes they are operating. The aircraft crew will know what rules apply and it is critical that passengers follow their instructions. And we ask that all travellers be respectful of other people’s decision to voluntarily wear masks even if it is not a requirement,” said Mr Walsh.

Miracle Tibet Airlines crash with all passengers and crew safe

A Tibet Airlines A319 has caught fire after veering off the runway at the airport at Chongqing, China however all passengers and crew were “safely evacuated”.

The flight, TV9833 was carrying 113 passengers and nine crew, and en route to Tibet’s Nyingchi when “abnormalities” were detected and take-off was aborted resulting in a runway overrun.

Tibet Airlines’ safety rating is 5/7.

SEE the podcast: Flight Safety Detectives dissect the Netflix doco “Downfall”.

READ: Boeing will bounce back says world’s largest leasing company

READ: How the Airbus A350 went from defeat to victory

READ: Can the giant AN-225 fly again?

“All passengers and crew have been safely evacuated,” Tibet Airlines said in a statement.

“The injured passengers were all only lightly injured, and have been sent to hospital for treatment.”

Tibet

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.

Passenger who has “no idea” lands plane after pilot falls ill

plane

An air traffic controller in the USA has successfully guided a passenger on a private plane to land safely at Palm Beach International Airport in Florida after the pilot was incoherent during the flight Tuesday.

According to wpbf.com , citing the FAA, the incident happened at about 12:30 p.m. with a single-engine plane, believed to be a Cessna Caravan.

There were just two people on board at the time of the landing and one -the pilot – was taken to a hospital, according to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue.

“I’ve got a serious situation here,” the passenger said to traffic control from the cockpit. “My pilot’s gone incoherent. I have no idea how to fly the airplane…”

When asked where the plane was, the passenger responded, “I have no idea. I can see the coast of Florida in front of me and I have no idea.”

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The Cessna Caravan was on a flight from Marsh Harbor in the Bahamas to Fort Pierce in Florida.

About one hour into the flight the pilot apparently fell ill and the passenger took over with the help of air traffic control and the plane was diverted to West Palm Beach.

Here is the flight path.

SEE the podcast: Flight Safety Detectives dissect the Netflix doco “Downfall”.

READ: Boeing will bounce back says world’s largest leasing company

READ: How the Airbus A350 went from defeat to victory

READ: Can the giant AN-225 fly again?

According to wpbf.com “the air traffic controller then continues to tell the passenger how to push forward on the controls, descend to 5,000 feet and level off as air traffic control tried to find the plane, according to audio of the incident.”

The air traffic controller said; “We’re gonna try to find you here on the radar.”

The controller finds the plane and then talks the passenger down to an almost perfect landing below.

 

United Airlines signs for international sustainable fuel supply

United

United Airlines, which has invested in more sustainable fuel production than any other airline in the world, has become the first US airline to sign an international purchase agreement for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

United has signed with Neste to provide the airline with the right to buy up to 52.5 million gallons over the next three years for United flights at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, and potentially other airports as well.

Lauren Riley, United’s Chief Sustainability Officer said: “Reducing carbon emissions from fuel is the fastest way United will reach our 100 per cent green goal by 2050. As the airline that has invested more than any other airline in sustainable aviation fuel production, it makes sense to expand our network of partners internationally with a leading company like Neste.

“The demand from our customers to limit their emissions from flying is growing exponentially, and this agreement means that United customers flying from Amsterdam, and potentially more airports, will be partners in our sustainability efforts.”

Neste will provide United with 2.5 million gallons of SAF in Amsterdam in the first year. United will also have the right to purchase up to 20 million gallons in the second year, and up to 30 million gallons in the third year, at Amsterdam or other locations that Neste can supply throughout the globe, as Neste increases its SAF production.

SEE the podcast: Flight Safety Detectives dissect the Netflix doco “Downfall”.

READ: Boeing will bounce back says world’s largest leasing company

READ: How the Airbus A350 went from defeat to victory

READ: Can the giant AN-225 fly again?

United said that the supply agreement is enabled by Neste’s ambitious growth strategy, which will see the company producing 515 million gallons of SAF (1.5 million metric tons) per year by the end of 2023. Neste has been producing and delivering SAF since 2011 and has a proven track record of supplying SAF to customers in EuropeAsia and the Americas.

Thorsten Lange, Executive Vice President, Renewable Aviation at Neste said: “We’re excited to be partnering with United in this milestone purchase agreement and make our SAF available to United, also an industry leader in SAF investments.”

“Our global, fast-growing SAF production and supply chain supports airlines and their customers in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Neste is committed to helping aviation transition to a more sustainable future, and we look forward to expanding our cooperation with United.”

SAF delivers the performance of conventional jet fuel but with a significantly smaller carbon footprint on a lifecycle basis. Neste’s SAF reduces lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions (“GHG”) by up to 80 per cent compared to conventional jet fuel and burns cleaner than conventional jet fuel reducing non-CO2 emissions, including particulate matter (PM).

Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel™ is produced from 100 per cent sustainably sourced renewable waste and residue raw materials, including used cooking oil and animal fat waste.

 

Qatar Airways and Virgin Australia ink strategic partnership

Qatar airways

Virgin Australia and Qatar Airways have announced a new strategic partnership that will significantly expand both airlines’ networks, lounges and loyalty programmes.

The partnership agreement was announced at the start of the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai and will enable Qatar Airways’ passengers to travel seamlessly to 35 destinations on Virgin Australia’s domestic network on a single booking.

Virgin Australia passengers will be able to access Qatar Airways’ global route network of over 140 destinations, including the Middle East, Europe and Africa, via the airline’s hub at Hamad International in Doha.

SEE the podcast: Flight Safety Detectives dissect the Netflix doco “Downfall”.

READ: Boeing will bounce back says world’s largest leasing company

READ: How the Airbus A350 went from defeat to victory

READ: Can the giant AN-225 fly again?

The alliance greatly enhances Virgin Australia’s global reach beyond that offered by its partnership with Singapore Airlines and Etihad Airways.

The strategic partnership will also include reciprocal loyalty benefits allowing Qatar Airways Privilege Club members to earn and redeem Avios when flying on Virgin Australia, with similar benefits for Velocity members when travelling on Qatar Airways’ services.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker said: “We have a strong, long-standing relationship with Australia and this agreement with Virgin Australia comes at a time when it is needed the most.

“This partnership will give Australian passengers access to the world that they have so acutely missed these past two years, to be able to reconnect with family and friends and keep the wheels of trade moving. We hope many of them will stopover in Doha to enjoy the wonderful tourism industry that Qatar has to offer.

Virgin Australia Group Chief Executive Officer Jayne Hrdlicka said: “Today is more great news for Virgin Australia and Velocity Frequent Flyer members. We are incredibly focused on creating great travel experiences and our new partnership with Qatar Airways will significantly expand Virgin Australia’s footprint into the Middle East, Europe and Africa, offering hundreds more ways our guests can seamlessly see the world.”

Interestingly Qatar Airways is also a member of the Oneworld Alliance which includes Qantas.

Lufthansa orders more 787-9s due to delayed 777-9

Lufthansa

Lufthansa has ordered seven more 787-9s due to the delayed 777-9 which is not expected to be delivered to the airline until 2025.

The airline said that the “seven highly economical and fuel-efficient 787-9 passenger aircraft are intended to fill the capacity gaps created by the delayed delivery of the Boeing 777-9 (originally scheduled for delivery in 2023, currently advised in 2025). Lufthansa will receive the aircraft, which were originally intended for other airlines, in 2025 and 2026. At the same time, the delivery dates for the Boeing 787-9s already ordered from Boeing will be revised and, in some cases, brought forward to 2023 and 2024.”

SEE the podcast: Flight Safety Detectives dissect the Netflix doco “Downfall”.

READ: Boeing will bounce back says world’s largest leasing company

READ: How the Airbus A350 went from defeat to victory

READ: Can the giant AN-225 fly again?

The airline also placed orders for more Boeing 777Fs and the recently launched 777-8Fs, which like the passenger version, the 777-9, is yet to be certified.

Carsten Spohr, CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said: “We continue investing in more fuel-efficient, quieter and more economical aircraft that emit significantly less CO2. This enables us to drive our fleet modernization. By purchasing these state-of-the-art aircraft, we again underline Lufthansa Group’s ability to invest in and shape the future. Once again, we are again taking the initiative and expanding our leadership role as well as taking responsibility for the environment – with premium products for our customers and a sustainable fleet.”

Ihssane Mounir, Boeing senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing said: “With the investment in the 787 and 777 fleet, the Lufthansa Group will operate the most advanced, fuel-efficient twin-engine airplanes in the industry. Each of these airplanes reduces emissions by 15 to 25 per cent compared to previous models with a noise footprint up to 50 per cent smaller than their predecessors, helping to advance the Lufthansa Group’s sustainability objectives.”

The airline said that the Boeing 787-9 passenger aircraft consume about 25 per cent less fuel than their predecessors, the 777-8F freighters nearly 15 per cent less fuel.

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.

Boeing will bounce back says world’s largest leasing company

Boeing
Photo: Boeing

The world’s largest aircraft leasing company says Boeing will bounce back from its current certification troubles.

Speaking at the Airline Economics conference in Dublin AerCap CEO Aengus Kelly defended Boeing saying the company will “bounce back” from its industrial and certification problems, according to Reuters.

It’s stock has plunged 40 per cent during the past year reports website Seeking Alpha.

SEE the podcast: Flight Safety Detectives dissect the Netflix doco “Downfall”.

READ: Can the giant AN-225 fly again?

READ: More serious questions raised about the ATSB’s MH370 data review

“Clearly Boeing has got its own issues, but it is a tremendous company that’s helped build the world for the last 100 years and I would never write them off, they still build great airplanes,” Kelly said.

He added that Boeing’s 737 MAX, was attracting robust demand.

AerCap is the world’s largest leasing company with over 1700 aircraft.

It acquired leasing giants ILFC in 2014 and GECAS in 2012. General Electric, which owned GECAS has a 45.4 per cent stake in AerCap which traces its roots back to Guinness Peat Aviation founded by Tony Ryan in 1975.

Mr Ryan who died in 2007, was the founder of Ryanair.

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.

Lufthansa orders Boeing 777X Freighters

Lufthansa

Lufthansa Cargo has ordered a total of ten freighters – including three current-technology Boeing 777F freighters and seven 777-8F freighters, Boeing’s next-generation freighter.

In addition, leases for two Boeing 777F freighters (current technology), which run through 2024, will be extended for seven years each through 2031.

The airline also ordered seven more 787-9 aircraft.

The first of the 777F aircraft, which could be acquired on the used market at short notice, is expected as early as July 2022. Two more brand-new B777Fs will follow at a later date.

Lufthansa Cargo will take delivery of the B777-8Fs, between 2027 and 2030.

SEE the podcast: Flight Safety Detectives dissect the Netflix doco “Downfall”.

READ: Can the giant AN-225 fly again?

READ: More serious questions raised about the ATSB’s MH370 data review

Currently, the freighter fleet consists of a total of 15 Boeing 777Fs, four of which are operated by AeroLogic. In addition, there is the capacity of two A321 freighters and the belly capacity of passenger aircraft operated by Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings Discover. With the order of ten Boeing freighters, Lufthansa Cargo will offer its customers expanded capacities within its global long-haul network in the future.

Dorothea von Boxberg, Chairperson of the Executive Board and CEO of Lufthansa Cargo said: “We are very pleased that we have been able to set an important course for our future and the growth of Lufthansa Cargo with the decision to order ten additional widebody freighters. We can offer our customers significantly more capacity in the short and long term, and also ensure that we operate the most modern and efficient freighters in their class.

“The investments in the next freighter generation, the Boeing 777-8F, will significantly reduce CO2 emissions. We are thus taking another important step on our way to CO2-neutral airfreight. These major investments in Lufthansa Cargo are a sign of confidence in the future development of the airfreight market and in the role that Lufthansa Cargo will continue to play in it.”

Ihssane Mounir, Boeing senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing said: “With the selection of our newest freighter, Lufthansa continues its long history of firsts with Boeing airplane programs, becoming the first European customer for the 777-8 Freighter.

“With the investment in the 777 and 787 fleet, the Lufthansa Group will operate the most advanced, fuel-efficient twin-engine airplanes in the industry. Each of these airplanes reduces emissions by 15 to 25 per cent compared to previous models with a noise footprint up to 50 per cent smaller than their predecessors, helping to advance the Lufthansa Group’s sustainability objectives.”

The new Boeing 777-8F will have a range of 8,167 kilometres (4410 nautical miles) and a maximum payload of 118 metric tons. Compared to the 777F version, it has 17 per cent more cargo volume.

Etihad unveils new sustainable economy upgrade

Etihad

Etihad Airways has unveiled a new sustainable economy upgrade with new soft furnishings and tableware which will be launched onboard in the fourth quarter of the year.

The new products have been designed with sustainability and improved guest experience as primary objectives the airline said.

The announcement was made on the opening day of the Arabian Travel Market, a trade event for the travel and tourism industry taking place this week in Dubai.

SEE the podcast: Flight Safety Detectives dissect the Netflix doco “Downfall”.

READ: Can the giant AN-225 fly again?

READ: More serious questions raised about the ATSB’s MH370 data review

The Economy class experience will be upgraded with new soft furnishings for all guests in Economy, including a 35 per cent larger pillow with a 200 thread-count cotton cover made locally in the UAE. This is complemented by a soft blanket made from recycled plastic for additional comfort on all flights.

Etihad’s new dining experience features reusable tableware made from recycled high-quality plastic and eliminates the use of single-use plastic. The tray, serving plates and their lids are part of a closed-loop recycling system. At the end of their lifecycle, they are collected, washed, ground and reused to make new replacement products.

Etihad is also introducing stainless-steel cutlery into the Economy cabin which upgrades the experience and also reduces single-use plastic.

In 2019, Etihad committed to removing 80 per cent of single-use plastic from its operation by the end of 2022 and the introduction of this new inflight equipment ensures the airline meets this sustainability goal.

Terry Daly, Executive Director Guest Experience, Brand and Marketing, commented: “Etihad is trailblazing when it comes to sustainability in aviation. Following extensive research and development through our eco-flights over the past few years, we’re proud to reveal the first in a series of enhancements to our inflight experience. Our commitment to sustainability doesn’t come at a compromise to the quality and thoughtfulness behind Etihad’s guest experience, and these innovative new products will further improve our offering. We look forward to rolling out this new experience across the fleet towards the latter part of the year.”

Etihad Economy is renowned for its spacious Economy seating featuring its signature fixed-wing headrest which provides optimal support for a restful travel experience.

The airline also offers Economy Space seating which provides an additional 4 inches of legroom for passengers who choose to upgrade to this option. In addition, Etihad’s passengers may choose neighbour-free seating in Economy for an additional fee, which offers extra privacy and comfort.

 

Emirates rolls out Premium Economy on Sydney-London

Emirates
Emirates is outfitting its new A380s with premium economy.

Emirates will roll out its A380s equipped with Premium Economy on the Sydney to London route from June 1, 2022.

The new cabin class will also be available to Emirates customers travelling on popular A380 routes to Paris from August 1 and Christchurch from December.

READ: How the Airbus A350 went from defeat to victory

Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline said: “As with everything we do, Emirates Premium Economy will be exceptional in its class, with minute attention given to every aspect of the customer experience. Customers trading up from Economy will be getting excellent value.

“Since we first introduced our Premium Economy seats in January 2021, the positive response and demand has been tremendous. We currently have six A380s equipped with this cabin class, which limits our initial deployment, but our intention is to offer this experience to many more markets across our network.’

“This November, we will begin our retrofit programme to install Premium Economy on 67 A380s and 53 Boeing 777s. At the end of the programme, Emirates will have 126 aircraft fitted out with Premium Economy cabins, as well as our latest interiors across other cabins. It is a major investment to ensure our customers continue to have the best experience in the sky.”

 

Barry Brown, Emirates Divisional Vice President for Australasia said: “The introduction of our Premium Economy seats to our Sydney service is a game-changer for Australia. It’s an important part of our longstanding commitment to the Australian market, investing in our product and offering our travellers a world-class experience over the last 25 years of flying with us. We’re seeing strong sustained booking momentum as more Australians travel overseas for the first time in two years, with many now getting the chance to experience our Premium Economy first hand.”

The cream-coloured leather Premium Economy seats have a seat pitch of up to 40 inches and are 19.5 inches wide, and recline 8 inches into a comfortable cradle position.

On a four-class Emirates A380, the Premium Economy cabin is located at the front of the main deck with 56 seats laid out in 2-4-2 configuration. On the Emirates Boeing 777, up to 24 Premium Economy seats will be installed in a dedicated cabin section between Business and Economy.

 

 

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