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ANZ’s Black Bird in SYD

Air New Zealand brought its new 787-9 to Sydney for the first time today kicking off a series of ad hoc route proving flights before the aircraft enters commercial service. The airline says “the 787-9 is schedule to operate between Auckland and Sydney on a surprise and delight basis from 9 August.” Ad hoc services to Perth will […]

Air New Zealand A320 ZK-OXB

Putting a price on time

Revealed at last week’s investor day and launched into market today, Air New Zealand (ANZ) has reformed its Domestic grabaseat fare structure into a new system that could be the first of its kind for any airline, anywhere, anytime. The choices, shown below, are available to all customers up until the time of departure – […]

avgeny

Aviation’s next generation

For years Australia’s aviation industry, indeed the industry worldwide, has tepidly danced around the issue of what to do about the falling number of young people attracted to aviation. It’s not a new issue. But it’s an issue following a repetitive script, with an incomprehensible lack of engagement of the young people walking away to […]

V Australia 777. Image: Gavin (777 freak) on flickr

Virgin Australia: A decade of international services.

Today marks ten years since Virgin Australia (Blue at the time) launched it’s first international flight, DJ007 between Christchurch and Brisbane on January 29, 2004.

Across the Tasman, Virgin’s competitive bullseye wasn’t locked squarely on the Qantas Group, it was also taking on a newly relaunched and reinvigorated Air New Zealand in its highest yielding market place. Pacific Blue grew quickly, leveraging the opportunity to develop reliable low-cost air services to the remote, developing islands of the Pacific, an area of the world that couldn’t support the high-cost operation of either national carrier.

Virgin’s long-haul ambitions came to fruition in 2009 – the worst time to launch an international airline, but it had little choice – with the launch of V Australia services to the US.

Continue reading “Virgin Australia: A decade of international services.” »

A350 takeoff at La Paz. Image: estebaneid on flickr.

The weekly rollerboard 19 January: A350 special

The A350XWB flight test campaign continues in earnest, and with more than 850 flight hours now logged it’s time I wrote an update. I was following the campaign and the CSeries more closely in the initial stages, but the number of great resources available online meant I took a bit of back seat.

Flexible limits

The static test frame MSN5000 has now successfully completed ultimate wing load testing reaching a five metre deflection the wing, subjecting the wing to loads to 1.5 times greater than expected in service life. Strains were measured by 10,000 measurement channels which correlate load information against structural design models.

The ultimate load is the beyond which the wing is expected to fail, and is calculated at 2.5 times the maximum expected G load. As the Airbus Fly By Wire system limits G loads to +2.5G or +3.5G in a reversion to Direct Law, the ultimate load could be higher than 7.5G. Continue reading “The weekly rollerboard 19 January: A350 special” »

Looking to the sky in 2014.

Our 2013 retrospective, and Airbus breaking with tradition on A350 MSN2 , inspired me to take a look at what this dynamic industry might have in-store for 2014:

A350 MSN2 the first test aircraft to be fitted with a full cabin interior in its new carbon fibre scheme. Image: Airbus SAS.

CASA Regulation
Some big regulatory changes will take place in 2014. In particular, CASA will need to guide the Australia’s airlines on the use of Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs) following changes to regulatory legislation by the FAA in the US and EASA in Europe. Currently Australian carriers are self regulating in this respect, but moving independently as a way to gain competitive advantage will only create headaches for crew in enforcing use on-board.

 

Image: Graham Cook

Domestic capacity
The war will continue until the end of the first half, bringing further revenue pressure to the Qantas and Virgin groups. Qantas has invested too much the public rhetoric behind in its strategy, to back away now would look like it was giving in. Not the best market image to present given its current financial position. Expect the Federal Government to make small changes to the level of single foreign ownership to the Qantas Sale Act.

 

 

 

Sydney Airport
The political future of Tony Abbott’s Government depends on their ability to deliver a courageous bipartisan policy decision. With a promise of a decision, a ‘government of no surprises’ will now need to deliver with a real commitment on Badgery’s Creek. This will come as a stage 1 single runway development, with no rail connection, because Abbott’s made it clear he doesn’t like trains. Also expect a change to the slot caps at Sydney Airport, starting with the 05:00-06:00am landing window.

Continue reading “Looking to the sky in 2014.” »

Emirates is taking over Auckland one A380 at a time. Image: Emirates.

Taking over the world one A380 at a time.

Alone, unafraid, last week Emirates’ inaugural A380 service on its daily Dubai – Brisbane – Auckland route winged its way south-east. The service becomes Brisbane’s first and only scheduled A380 service increasing capacity on the route by approximately 193,000 seats per annum. Meanwhile, across the pond, Auckland is now the only airport outside Dubai to host […]

Air New Zealand Boeing 767-319ER ZK-NCJ. Image: Les Bushell.

Air New Zealand’s 767s heading south for summer.

On October 5 Air New Zealand is returning to Antartica. The carrier has been invited by Antartica New Zealand to conduct a Boeing 767-300ER route proving flight from Auckland to the blue ice runway at Pegasus Field, McMurdo Sound in Antartica to test the suitability of potential charter services.

If successful the route proving flight could be followed by an additional two services this summer season.

Air New Zealand's first aircraft - A320 ZK-OXB - in the carrier's new fern livery. Image: Air New Zealand.

Air New Zealand’s new fern takes to the sky.

  Air New Zealand has unveiled its first aircraft – an Airbus A320 registered ZK-OXB – to be painted in carrier’s bold new monochromatic fern livery. The livery is the second iteration of Air New Zealand’s new corporate branding first revealed in July 2012, and part of a substantial NZD$20 million marketing campaign with Tourism […]

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