Air India calls for nationalistic onboard announcements

As the current Indian-Pakistan tension heats up and with an election looming, India’s national airline has told its crew to conclude every in-flight announcement with the patriotic phrase, “Jai Hind” (Hail the motherland). This does not inspire me to fly Air India. I am sorry I don’t want to hear “God bless America”, or “Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi”, or “Rule Britannia or, “Isten, áldd meg a magyart! (“God bless the Hungarians!”) or “Vive la France”, or “Chi Chi Chi!, Le Le Le! Go Chile!” or any other nationalistic sentiment when I fly. It…

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Hong Kong Airlines revisited – Trip Report Bangkok – HK return

This is a follow on from last month’s trip report on Hong Kong Airlines. Prior to trying them late last year, I had not heard much about Hong Kong Airlines. Their Partnership with Virgin Australia (which I have  Platinum status with) was the motivation to fly them and now after four delightful flights with them, I am hooked. The only issue is the on-going speculation, that  they may not survive financially. This promopted me to ask the question in my last report ” are they a great airline but a lousy business?:   Booking: 6/10…

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China to ground 737MAX fleet

China’s Civil Aviation Administration, has reportedly asked its airlines to temporarily ground Boeing 737 Max aeroplanes following the Ethiopian Airlines crash. Many airlines, Canjing reports had already switched 737MAX flights, replacing the plane with the older (and reliable) 737-800 I think a grounding is a sensible precaution following the two similar crashes of the model in clear weather; Ethiopian yesterday and Lion back in October 2018. Two fatal crashes in five months of a brand new aircraft is too great. Such a grounding is significant. China is also one of the biggest travel markets on…

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No to flying 737 MAX, after 2nd crash. What we know about Ethiopian 302.

Plane crashes are so rare these days, despite the huge volume of air traffic. Safety, systems, pilot training and modern aircraft have made air travel safer and safer. So the news of a tragedy is something that is surprising, gripping and terrifying.  At 844 in the morning of Sunday March 10th, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 registered as ET-AVJ, vanished from radar screens just six minutes from its departure from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on a flight to Nairobi, Kenya. The plane was operated by Ethiopian Airlines as ET302.  Media in Ethiopia said 157 people died: …

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HK Express in active talks with Cathay- Why I am so interested

Hong Kong’s flagship carrier Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd reported on Tuesday it is in “active discussions” about acquiring discount airline Hong Kong Express Airways Ltd, also known as HK Express ( 香港快運航空). Buying HK Express would be a game changer for both Cathay Pacific and the region of Hong Kong. Cathay has been hit by competition from Air Asia and Qantas low cost subsidiary Jetstar and has been forced to price discount. The airline has had two consecutive losses for the first time in 71 years. This deal, if successful, would allow Cathay to gain…

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Qantas changes app colours for Mardi Gras

As part of its sponsorship of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Qantas changed its app to reflect rainbow colours. Customers can change the app design by going to settings on the app. You may have to perform a forced reload ie deleting the app if you already have it and reinstalling it. Qantas has been involved in the Mardi Gras since 2015. It has had a float in the parade and painted a rainbow flag onto one of its 737s. This would be in line with the CEO’s values. Mr Joyce is gay…

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Riding the Quaint Beautiful Jiji railway in Taiwan

There is something magical for me, about train rides whether slow steam hauled locals  or super high speed expresses that criss cross parts of Asia and Europe. Today’s seven train ride on three separate railway lines managed to combine slow and fast trains, scenery and amazing food into a beautiful day trip on the Jiji Railway. Verdict: My Overall Rating: 81% Why it should be visited: Nice scenery, a glimpse of “real” Taiwan, friendly people, easy to find great foos Negatives: Lack of coordination of train and bus timetables Would I return?: Yes Location and Orientation…

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Happy 50th Birthday to the 747-the first plane I loved!

On the 9th of February 1969, the first 747 flew for the first time, a nearly two-hour flight from Everett, Washington and back again. My first flight with the 747 was on my birthday on a Pan Am flight to Sydney, Australia in 1971. My parents had organised for a birthday cake on the plane. I had already fallen in love seeing the plane from the Hong Kong airport window. Every second of that journey felt like magic (Pan Am was still a great airline at that time). For months afterwards, I would pretend I…

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Air NZ Worst safety ad -pulled. What went wrong?

I have not met anyone who has disliked the highly creative Air New Zealand safety briefings until now. After hree months of criticism from NZ Politicians, celebrities, and the public, the airline has pulled their latest $2.5m safety ad: The video took American hip hop ground Run DMC’s 1987 hit “It’s tricky” and replaced “tricky” with  “Kiwi”. The jingle was “It’s Kiwi to rock a rhyme, to rock a rhyme that’s safe and fly,” It starred Kiwi actor Julian Dennison (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Deadpool2), local musicians Kings, Theia and Randa and talent from 30…

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HK Airlines Trip Report -good airline -lousy Business?

  There is an old adage about Australian airline Ansett before it collapsed that it was “a great airline, but a poor business”. Virgin America, Kingfisher, Malev and Transaero have all been similar examples which have all finished up providing good and/or innovative service but which did not last financially.  In 2019, Hong Kong Airlines airlines has the same feel. My flights with them were highly enjoyable but the carrier, part of the cash strapped HNA group is rumored to be on the brink of closure.  The HK government drew up contingency plans in case HK…

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