Cathay Pacific to launch flights to Tel Aviv

A few days ago, Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific announced that they will launch a new four-times-weekly service between Hong Kong and Tel Aviv, Israel starting 26 March, 2017. The new route will be operated with their brand new Airbus A350.

a350-5-900

The flights will follow this schedule, courtesy of airlineroute:

CX675 HKG0100 – 0740TLV 359 x135
CX674 TLV1350 – 0510+1HKG 359 x135

Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Ivan Chu said:

“We are excited to be launching a direct link to Tel Aviv, which has established itself as a culturally rich and technologically-advanced business capital. As an important market in the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, Israel offers tremendous potential for business and leisure travel. Together with the recent launch of our Madrid and Gatwick operations, this new service to Tel Aviv reflects our commitment to growing the Cathay Pacific network and further strengthening Hong Kong’s position as one of the world’s great international aviation hubs.”

 

 

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Republic defers CSeries order

Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (RAH) says it has agreed with Bombardier to amend a firm order agreement signed in 2010 for forty CS300s with forty additional options.

A render of a Republic Airways CS300. Copyright: Bombardier

The move is part of RAH’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings which have allowed it to extricate itself from several contracts. 

RAH said in an SEC filing the amendment provided for the deferral of scheduled aircraft playmenrs to the Canadian manufacturer as well as scheduled deliveries, as previously scheduled under the purchase agreement.

RAH says it has already stopped making pre-delivery deposit payments on these aircraft, which were originally to have been delivered beginning in early 2015 and continuing through 2017. 

In addition, RAH said it would pay Bombardier and associated firms a general unsecured claim of USD1.5 million and an administrative claim of USD0.7 million to settle certain unspecified claims filed by the Canadians against it and Republic Airlines.

The motions is scheduled to be heard by a New York State Bankruptcy Court on November 17.

CityJet to open a base in London Southend in 2017

CityJet has announced its plans to open a base at London Southend airport beginning in April of next year.

A CityJet Sukhoi SSJ100-95. Copyright: SuperJet International/Katsuhiko Tokunaga.
In a statement, the UK logistics firm said it had reached an outline agreement with Stobart Group, London Southend Airport’s owners, which could see it using up to four based aircraft at the airfield for use in serving eighteen European destinations.

“We are very pleased to be working with CityJet to add new flights at London Southend Airport,” Stobart Group CEO Andrew Tinkler said.” This arrangement will open up around eighteen new destinations, giving our customers more choice. These additional services could bring up to 600,000 passengers per year to the airport providing us with further momentum towards achieving our target run rate of 2.5 million passengers by 2018.”

CityJet currently has bases at London City, Amsterdam, Dublin, Helsinki Vantaa, Paris CDG and Stockholm Arlanda. The bases in Scandinavian and France are used for wet-lease operations for Air France and SAS.

United moves forward with 757 scimitar winglets installation

Scimitar winglets are expected to make an appearance on United’s fleet of 757s. The project which is expected to start in January, follows United’s adoption of the technology on its fleet of 737s.

A United 757-200. Copyright: Aero Icarus on wikimedia
The airline will be the first carrier to outfit this new kind of winglets on 757s, which united primarily uses out of Washington Dulles, Newark Liberty and Chicago O’Hare.

United also uses the 757-200 on its Premium Service flights from Newark to San Francisco and Los Angeles.

No word yet on the future of United’s fleet of 757-300s, which were inherited from ATA and Continental, and are already fitted with blended winglets.

The upgrade are expected to start with ship number 103 in January, to be followed by ship numbers 101 and 102.

The winglets will be installed by Aviation Partners Boeing.

Emirates to retire all of its A330s, A340s and B777-200ERs by the end of the month 

Patrick Brannely, Divisional Vice President (Customer Experience IFE & Connectivity) at Emirates, has confirmed the airline will phase out its remaining A330-200s and A340-300s by the end of this month.

An Emirates A340-300. Copyright: Montague Smith on wikimedia
Speaking during the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) in Singapore this week, Brannelly said that with effect from next month, Emirates’ fleet would consist exclusively of B777 and A380-800 aircraft.

Schedule data indicates Emirates’ last scheduled A330 service is provisionally set for Thiruvananthapuram-Dubai on Saturday, October 29 while the A340’s last regular service has been provisionally set for October 30 from Muscat to Dubai. The carrier’s fleet of three remaining B777-200(ER)s has also been scheduled for retirement at month end with its last regular service set for October 29 between Ahmedabad and Dubai.

UPS announces order for up to 28 B747-8Fs

The UPS air freight division will be receiving up to 28 Boeing 747-8Fs after the placement of an order with Boeing, the US logistics giant has announced.

A render of a UPS B747-8F. Copyright: Boeing
The order is made up of fourteen firm orders and options for fourteen additional aircraft of the type. Deliveries are scheduled to happen between 2017 and 2020.
“These aircraft are a strategic investment for increased capacity for UPS customers around the globe,” said Brendan Canavan, president, UPS Airlines. “The 747-8 will allow UPS to upsize our network in both new and existing markets.”

“UPS could not have selected a better aircraft to meet its growing business needs,” said Brad McMullen, vice president, Sales, North America and Leasing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We’ve continued to make the 747-8 Freighter even better, and we look forward to seeing UPS introduce it to its fleet.”

UPS’s current fleet is composed of: fifty-two A300-600Fs, thirteen B747-400Fa, seventy-five B757-200Fs, fifty-nine B767-300ERs and thirty-seven MD-11Fs.

[Incident] FedEx MD-10 crash lands in Fort Lauderdale 

A FedEx MD-10, N370FE, built in 1972 as a DC-10-10 for United, flying out of Memphis as FX910 has crash landed in Fort Lauderdale and subsequently caught fire after engine N. 1 detached from the wing.

img_0913
From the photos it seems like the left main landing gear has failed causing the aircraft to lose engines n.1 and catch fire on landing.


A video of the wing exploding has been posted on twitter by @Alex_Robles44: link to the video

UPDATE 1:

Fort Lauderdale (FLL)has been closed. All flights in proximity of Fort Lauderdale are either holding or diverting. Others are being held at departure airports.

[Incident] American Airlines AA383 Engine Fire at Chicago O’Hare

American Airlines Flight AA383 has suffered an uncontrolled fire during its takeoff roll at Chicago O’Hare Int’l Airport on Runway 28R on 28/10/16 14:35 US CT. 161 passengers and 9 crew members were on board.

1477686279-planefire.png
N345AN On Fire During the Evacuation

Speculation is that the incident was caused by an uncontained engine fire in the right side General Electric CF6-80C2B6 engine (engine No.2). However, there are other reports that there was an engine failure, leading to a rejected takeoff and that the hard braking caused an explosive tyre burst.

The pilots aborted the takeoff and fire crews at the airport responded to put out the fire. All people on board were evacuated, with nine people suffering injuries. In the aftermath of the incident, Runway 28R and 28C have been closed. This will cause many flights to be delayed or cancelled.

The aircraft operating the route was N345AN, a 13.5 year old Boeing 767-323(ER)(WL). The heat from the fire has melted the right wing, causing the aircraft to be damaged beyond repair, causing a complete write off.

A video of the evacuation (by Alysse Bertilda):

Pictures of the damage:

UPDATE 1:

NOTAMs regarding the incident have been released:

10/050 (A3164/16) – RWY 15/33 CLSD EXC TAX. 28 OCT 20:31 2016 UNTIL 28 OCT 23:00 2016. CREATED: 28 OCT 20:31 2016

10/049 (A3163/16) – NAV ILS RWY 15 GP U/S. 28 OCT 20:29 2016 UNTIL 28 OCT 22:30 2016. CREATED: 28 OCT 20:29 2016

10/047 (A3160/16) – RWY 10C/28C CLSD. 28 OCT 19:44 2016 UNTIL 28 OCT 23:00 2016. CREATED: 28 OCT 19:44 2016
10/046 (A3159/16) – TWY P BTN TWY CC AND TWY P5 CLSD. 28 OCT 19:40 2016 UNTIL 28 OCT 23:00 2016. CREATED: 28 OCT 19:40 2016
10/045 (A3158/16) – RWY 10L/28R CLSD. 28 OCT 19:38 2016 UNTIL 28 OCT 23:00 2016. CREATED: 28 OCT 19:38 2016

Update 2:

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have found a piece of the engine disk from N345AN inside a UPS warehouse about 2,920 feet away from the accident site. Examination of the aircraft’s CF6 engine revealed that the stage 2 disk of high pressure turbine failed.

RwandAir to start London Gatwick flights by 2017

RwandAir’s CEO John Mirenge has names London Gatwick as the carrier’s first destination in Europe.

RwandAir’s only A330. Copyright: Jacques Panas on Flickr.
In an interview with The New Times, Mirenge said talks between the U.K. And Rwandan authorities are near their conclusion and that there’s a strong possibility the launch will be before 2017.

The carrier took delivery of its first A330-200 last month, expecting its first A330-300 to be delivered in November.

RwandAir has been using its only widebody aircraft for flights from its hub in Kigali t Lagos, Accra, Dubai and Mombasa. Flights to Mumbai are also scheduled to launch before the end of this year.

easyJet hails decision on Hethrow expansion 

easyJet has announced it will definitely consider starting services out of London Heathrow following the decision to build a third runway there.

Commenting on the decision, airline chief executive Carolyn McCall said the GBP20+ billion privately-funded project would ensure the United Kingdom was better connected to the rest of the world.

“With the right charging structure and the right infrastructure for our efficient model, easyJet plans to operate from Heathrow, in addition to our existing London bases, providing new routes and lower fares to customers,” she said.

With the Brexit economy placing greater emphasis on the United Kingdom’s trade relationships with other countries outside of the European Union, government says the added capacity will facilitate the launch of new long haul destinations across the globe and to growing world markets, such as Asia and South America, thus significantly boosting trade.

“Heathrow already handles more freight by value than all other UK airports combined, accounting for 31% of the UK’s non-EU trade, and its expansion will create even more opportunities for UK business to get their goods to new markets,” a government statement said.

Once the new runway is operational, London expects to realize economic benefits to passengers and the wider economy worth up to GBP61 billion over sixty years.


A more cautious statement followed from IAG International Airlines Group chief executive, Willie Walsh, who has previously warned the Group would consider leaving Heathrow, home to its British Airways (BA, London Heathrow) unit, if plans for a third runway were given the greenlight. The IAG has concerns about who will invariably foot the bill for the new track amid indications Heathrow Airport Ltd would have to increase service charges to beyond economically viable thresholds in order for it to recover its investment.

“We will be vigilant in ensuring that Heathrow does not raise charges to benefit its shareholders to the detriment of the travelling public. We believe it’s sensible that this is properly debated and we look forward to being consulted about our views,” he said.

Although the project has been given government approval, experts believe works may only begin after 2020 at least given the impending legal battles it faces. Green rights activists along with property owners and town councils in Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor, and Maidenhead, have already bandied together to form a grand coalition to legally thwart the project.

“A third runway at Heathrow isn’t a deliverable alternative so isn’t a realistic choice,” the Leader of Windsor and Maidenhead local council, Simon Dudley, said. “As the number of claimants in our judicial review group increases, so does the coalition of opposition and available financial resources to stop a third runway at Heathrow, and to protect our residents.”