Monthly Archives

Monthly Archives for April 2012.

This Week and My April Summary

This week, I fly from one extreme of the earth to another: From Buenos Aires (EZE (34°49’20″S 58°32’09″W)  7011 m to Vancouver, Canada (YVR (49°11’38″N 123°11’04″W) a distance of 11283 km (7011 miles) as the crow flies. Over the last month, I have flown 13 times. In between times, I blogged the following posts: Trip Reports 3 April, 2012: Trip Report: Train to Toodyay 10 April, 2012: Trip Report: Skywest (Australia) EPR-PER 24 April, 2012: Virgin Australia A330 Per – Syd Business Aeroplanes 28 April., 2012: Boeing 787 and Airbus 380 updates Visits 1 April, 2012: Running in Perth 25…

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ANA 787 Biofuels Flight

787 launch customer All Nippon Airlines (ANA)  received their newest 787 this week. It completed a transpacific biofuel flight from  Boeing’s Delivery Center in Everett, Washington to Tokyo Haneda Airport. The plane was powered by a mix of regular aviation fuel and used cooking oil! ANA currently have five 787s; four are flying domestically and one is flying Tokyo-Frankfurt. They will begin flying Tokyo to Seattle from July 25 with a 777 , and some time in the year,  will switch to a 787.  The ANA 787 has 158 seats (46 Business arranged 2/2/2 and 112 Economy arranged 2/4/2). The airline itself,  announced a record…

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The Vanishing Colours of Europe’s Tails

As a kid, I first started plane spotting when I flew through the airports of  in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. I became expert by the age of six at picking out all of the different tails of airlines. The bright colours of Braniff, the dignified blue of Pan Am, the proud speedbird of BOAC,  the Kangaroo of Qantas and the blue and white S of Sabena all were recognisable instantly. Fast forward forty years, and most of those airlines are gone. As an adult, I still like looking at those tails and dream both about the carrier and it…

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Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina is the 170th city of 100 000 people I have visited! Argentina is the 54th country I have visited! Bit more trivia: Buenos Aries EZE airport is the 2o0th airport I have been to! I rated it 84.3% on my ranking. Our plane touched down 23 minutes early into a grey 9 degrees celsius (48F) day. The curse of landing early and getting through means that my car was not of course waiting for me, so I  got to watch the airport activity for a while with people greeting each other with hugs,…

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Stonehenge complete

I visited Stonehenge whilst in the Uk a couple of years ago. Rising up out of the plains, the historical site is awe inspiring. Its one of my favourite places in the world. Access to the site is limited to a very small number of people with most people only being able  to gaze across a fence, I organised to get on a tour that actually goes in and I got to spend sunset at the site, close to the stones. Last week,  I visited Stonehenge again. This time it was complete. The circle of stones is unblemished. Whats the story? In a move that is either crazy or astounding, Stonehenge has been re-created in Western Australia as it might have been. 137 granite stones…

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Virgin Australia A330 Per – Syd Business

In aviation, a year can make a huge difference. A year ago Virgin Australia was Virgin Blue.  They did not have A330s and they had no business class. All that changed in May, 2011 when the discount carrier became “ahem” less discount. Since then, my observation is that Virgin have continued to improve their product. Significantly, they managed to increase profits by 118 per cent last year. Not an easy feat in this industry.  Today, I review their A330 Business Class product. Booking: 9 out of 10 Virgin Australia has a very simple and straight forward booking system at www.virginaustralia.com.au All…

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This Week: 23 to 30 April

I am in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina today. Fly up to  New York City, before flying down to Buenos Aires,  the capital and largest city of Argentina. I know its the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after Greater Sao Paulo. Any advice for Buenos Aires? Its my first time in Argentina! I will only have three flights this week (only) on two airlines only this week: US Airways and American (ugh).US Airways have pleasantly surprised on my recent flights with them as to how much better they have come. I used to think they were not that good. I…

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Qantas gets back Nancy

April 21 saw the formal handing back to Qantas of their Airbus 380 named Nancy Bird Walton. This is the plane  that dramatically “lost an engine” in a mid-air blast off Singapore in November 2010. I have previously blogged about how dangerous the incident was..  The incident dented both the reputation of Qantas as one of the world’s safest airlines (despite the fact the crew managed to nurse the plane into a safe landing) and the reputation of the giant plane. (The concerns some have about the 380 have been  further heightened by hysteria over the wing cracks that have been found recently. Qantas is denying they are considering suing Airbus over the cracks but they are in…

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Austrian re organises

Friday has become my day to blog about major changes to airlines. So far, this year, there has been a lot to write about vis a vis airline bankruptcies (Cirrus, Spanair, US3000,  Air Australia, Malev, Air Zimbabwe, Direct Air, Red Jet, GMG) or near bankruptcies ( Armavia, Kingfisher,  Pinnacle). Kingfisher is still flying despite being borderline insolvent. Its has gone from being India’s largest airline to its smallest in just over six months! Pinnacle are re organising. Armavia seem to be still flying. Austrian Air’s CEO has said their situation is “critical”. One of my fellow Boarding Area Bloggers has a great post on Austrian’s re-organisation. The airline has…

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Wacky Irritation: Press One now

Called the Virgin Australia frequent flyer contact centre last week Get the usual guff: Welcome blah blah “Press 1 for bookings Press 2 for Frequent flyer Key in your membership number Transferring you now” (Sound of transfer) “Due to the Australian Public Holiday, our centre is closed”. Why not tell me before I pressed all those numbers? I get so peeved with those automated voice systems when: I end up in a Department that is not the one I selected I enter my frequent flyer membership number or flight details or credit card and when I finally…

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