PHOTOS: British Airways takes delivery of its first Airbus A380

A milestone for the British aviation industry, as the country's national carrier took deliver of its first Airbus A380, becoming the tenth operator in the world to receive the superjumbo.

First look inside Singapore Airlines' brand new premium cabins

View these amazing photos and video showcasing the airline's next generation of business and first class cabin products, set to be the new industry benchmark for premium air travel.

PHOTO: First Airbus A350 XWB’s engines powered up

Rolls-Royce's Trent XWB engines have run for the first time on the A350 XWB, moving the aircraft closer to its maiden flight.

Pilot becomes online sensation with stunning cockpit photos

Air Arabia pilot Karim Nafatni's amazing photos have not only attracted a massive online following, but the global media have also jumped on the appreciation bandwagon.

PHOTOS: Thomson becomes first UK airline to receive Boeing 787

Thousands gathered to watch Thomson's first 787 Dreamliner (from an order of eight) arrive at Manchester Airport, completing its delivery flight from Paine Field in Everett.

Friday, May 31, 2013

PHOTOS: Thomson Airways becomes first UK airline to receive Boeing 787 Dreamliner


Thomson Airways' first 787 Dreamliner [Photo: Thomson]
Thomson Airways' first 787 Dreamliner [Photo: Thomson]
Boeing celebrated its first delivery of a 787 Dreamliner to a UK airline today, as Thomson Airways welcomed the aircraft to its fleet.

Thousands gathered to watch Thomson's first 787 Dreamliner (from an order of eight) arrive at Manchester Airport, completing its delivery flight from Paine Field in Everett.

Senior Thomson and Boeing executives, including Thomson Managing Director Chris Browne and Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President of Marketing Randy Tinseth, were onboard the delivery flight.

A photo of the delivery is included on this page and you might want to check out this article too: First look at Thomson Airways’ first Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

UPDATE: I've uploaded an entire photo album from the Thomson Airways Boeing 787 delivery on my Facebook (and we just crossed 1,000 fans)! Click here to visit.

"After much anticipation, we are very excited to welcome the 787 Dreamliner to our fleet and as the first airline in the UK, hope our customers will enjoy the unique experience of this revolutionary aircraft," said Browne.

"The extended flying range of the Dreamliner also unlocks a host of new and exciting holiday options for our customers, increasing the range of long-haul destinations available with Thomson Airways from four UK airports. Customers will be amazed at the unique look, feel and service – all of which will ensure the unique Thomson holiday experience starts as soon as they step on board this fabulous new aircraft."

MORE PHOTOS: First look at China Southern Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner

On 8th July 2013, Thomson's first long-haul Dreamliner flights will operate from Manchester to Florida and Glasgow to Cancun. Thomson will also operate services from London Gatwick and East Midlands airports. Later this year, the airline will introduce direct flights to Phuket, Thailand from the UK.

The Thomson 787 Dreamliner will carry 291 passengers and is configured with 47 seats in the airline's Premium Club cabin and 244 seats in the Economy Club cabin.

Thomson Airways is part of the TUI Travel PLC and is the UK's third largest airline operating 58 aircraft.

MORE PHOTOS: Boeing Rolls Out First 787 Dreamliner at Increased Production Rate

Thursday, May 30, 2013

PHOTO: Boeing celebrates 50th delivery of 747-8, with Lufthansa receiving the latest one


50th Boeing 747-8, delivered to Lufthansa [Photo: Boeing]
50th Boeing 747-8, delivered to Lufthansa [Photo: Boeing]
Boeing has been receiving a lot of coverage on TheAviationWriter.com this week! First, I posted an article with images of the China Southern Airlines 787 Dreamliner (click here if you missed them), and today we’re celebrating a milestone with the 747-8 aircraft.

The 50th delivery of a Boeing 747-8 has just been completed, with Lufthansa receiving the milestone aircraft. It is the German airline's seventh 747-8 to date and its 82nd 747 as a whole.

I’ve included an image of the aircraft on this page – remember to like my Facebook page to keep updated with the latest aviation photos, videos and stories. Click here to visit.


"Lufthansa is very proud to have the next Boeing 747-8 entering our fleet – almost exactly one year after the launch flight from Frankfurt to Washington, DC," said Nico Buchholz, Executive Vice President Fleet Management, Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

"After one year of operation and now seven aircraft in the fleet, the aircraft has proven and delivered the excellent economical and ecological performance. We are very happy with the reliable operation of the 747-8."

Boeing delivered the first 747-8 Intercontinental to Lufthansa in April 2012. The airplane entered service on 1st June 2012 with a flight from Frankfurt, Germany to Washington, D.C.

Cargolux Airlines took delivery of the first 747-8 Freighter in October 2011. To date, 35 Freighters and 15 Intercontinentals, including eight of the Boeing Business Jet version, have been delivered.  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Infographic: 10 ways to get a free flight upgrade, revealed by cabin crew


Skyscanner questioned 700 cabin crew across the world to find the top 10 ways passengers can boost their odds of getting upgraded
Want to increase the chances of being offered a free upgrade on your next flight? Then it’s worth checking out the latest report from Skyscanner, which questioned 700 cabin crew across the world to find the top 10 ways passengers can boost their odds of getting upgraded.

The results are pretty interesting… nearly two-thirds (61%) of respondents have offered a free upgrade, with a smartly dressed, single guy in his 30s being the most likely to receive one.

Bad luck to women in their late teens, wearing revealing clothing and travelling as part of a group – your chances of being upgraded are pretty slim.

“For those who don't fit the bill, crew have outlined how passengers can up their chances of getting that elusive free upgrade. While a few manners will go far, frequent flyers and solo travellers are odds-on favourites to get bumped up to premium, if seats are available,” stated Skyscanner, which also provided a nice info-graphic to highlight the results (which you can see below).

ALSO READ: 10 worst airlines in the world for economy class travel

Almost three quarters (72%) of cabin crew said they were more inclined to offer a free upgrade to a passenger who was flying alone. Other factors that increase the likelihood of escaping economy are being a frequent flyer and having an injury. Nearly two thirds revealed that a passenger with a broken limb was more likely to get the premium experience for free.

In a separate poll of passengers, Skyscanner found that travellers will do pretty much anything to get a luxury seat up front. Three quarters said they would tell a few fibs if it improved their chances, while others would pretend to be newlyweds (14%), 6% would feign illness or injury and 7% would ditch their partner and pretend to be travelling solo.

The infographic is below. What are your thoughts? Has an airline ever offered you a free upgrade? Let me know by leaving a comment here or you can also get in touch on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ - I look forward to connecting with you!

ALSO READ: Top 10 Airlines with the best business class cabins in 2013



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

PHOTOS: First look at China Southern Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner


China Southern Airlines will receive its first Boeing 787 on 31st May 2013
China Southern Airlines will receive its first Boeing 787 on 31st May 2013, with the aircraft scheduled to arrive in Guangzhou a couple of days later.

Initially, the Asian carrier’s first Dreamliner will only be operated on domestic routes, although it will later be deployed on international services.

Eye-catching photo of the China Southern Airlines Boeing 787 DreamlinerTo celebrate the forthcoming milestone, here are some eye-catching photos of the China Southern Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner, as supplied to TheAviationWriter.com by Flickr user MoonM, who lives near the Boeing Everett factory.

The photos were taken earlier this month at Boeing’s Paine Field (KPAE) and follow a previous article on TheAviationWriter titled 'PHOTOS: First look at Thomson Airways’ first Boeing 787 Dreamliner'.

Remember to like my Facebook page to keep updated with the latest aviation photos, videos and stories. Click here to visit.

Below are some links to other related stories:




10 interesting facts about today’s airline passenger preferences


Harris Interactive questioned over 2000 adults in the United States about their airline travel preferences
Did you know that 39% of American airline passengers would prefer to have a stranger sleep on their shoulder during a flight than pay for carry-on baggage? Or that 63% would rather be seated next to a crying baby than a smelly adult?

These are some of the findings from a recent Harris Interactive poll, with 2,276 adults surveyed in the United States earlier this year.

The results are well-timed for this blog, as I posted an article titled ‘Old-fashioned airline marketing tactics aren't enough to engage the 'connected traveller' - here's five reasons why!’ yesterday, which also looked at how passengers have different needs in today’s market.

In terms of the Harris Interactive poll, here are 10 interesting facts from the survey:

  • 58% of passengers would be willing to pay more for extra legroom on a longer flight. In comparison, only 33% would be willing to pay more for extra legroom on a short flight.
  • 63% of passengers would rather be seated next to a crying baby than a smelly adult.
  • 55% of passengers would rather have free WiFi than free TV or movies on a flight.
  • 46% of passengers would rather be seated in a zone where other passengers can't recline than in a seat with extra legroom.
  • 39% of passengers would rather have the stranger next to them sleep on their shoulder than have to pay for carry-on baggage.
  • 37% of passengers would be willing to pay more to fly on a newer plane.
  • 27% of passengers would rather pay extra for my baggage than fly without in-flight TV/movies.
  • 50% of passengers think airlines should allow people to use their mobile phones on flights.
  • 53% of passengers would be willing to pay extra to avoid a middle seat on longer flights (3 hours or longer)
  • 27% of passengers would rather pay extra for their baggage than fly without in-flight TV/movies.

What are your thoughts on the list? Are the results as expected? Let me know by leaving a comment here or you can also get in touch on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ - I look forward to connecting with you!

REVEALED: The world’s best airports according to Airports Council International

Monday, May 27, 2013

PHOTO: Airbus celebrates engine run milestone with second production A400M


The second production Airbus A400M completes engine milestone
The second production Airbus A400M [Photo: Airbus]
I’ve received a few requests to cover military aircraft on this blog, so here’s a 'short-and-sweet' photo story for anyone with an interest in that side of the aviation industry.

Airbus Military’s second production A400M has marked a key step toward its delivery to the French Air Force later this year with the successful completion of its first engine runs.

Designated MSN8, this aircraft – one of the four next-generation airlifters that Airbus Military expects to complete in 2013 – will now undergo taxi tests in Seville, Spain as final preparations begin for its maiden flight.

Enjoy the image, and remember to like my Facebook page to keep updated with the latest aviation photos, videos and stories. Click here to visit.

MORE PHOTOS: First look inside Boeing’s BBJ 3 private jet, based on the 737-900ER

Old-fashioned airline marketing tactics aren't enough to engage the 'connected traveller' - here's five reasons why!


Top 5 reasons why airlines need to move beyond usual marketing tactics to engage the Connected TravellerI’ve been having an interesting discussion with my friend Shashank Nigam, CEO of the global aviation consulting firm SimpliFlying, about the need for airlines to move beyond usual marketing tactics to engage the connected traveler.

In fact, I found the conversation so interesting that I cornered Shashank into writing about it for TheAviationWriter.com! You can find his ‘top 5’ list on the subject below, which is based on SimpliFlying's latest Airline Marketing Benchmark Report... enjoy!

Top 5 reasons why airlines need to move beyond usual marketing tactics to engage the Connected Traveller


Airline marketing has entered an exciting, unpredictable and creative phase. In the words of Patrick Murphy, ex-chairman of Ryanair, “the biggest change that has occurred in the airline industry in recent years has been the use of social media”.

Unprecedented in the history of airline marketing, engaging today’s travellers requires airlines to move beyond the usual marketing tactics. Here are five reasons why:

1) The age of advertising is dead

There are over 200 airlines on Twitter today, and the space is cluttered. Too many airlines are trying to woo travellers in the same old ways. Mere contests and free tickets are no longer enough to drive engagement.

In fact, travelers will not respond to a constant stream of one-way marketing messages. It is all about two-way communication now.

2) A hybrid model involving online and offline spaces is necessary for marketing, and even for loyalty programmes

Today’s travellers are ever connected on their mobile devices, spending more time on Internet and social media than on TV, radio or newspaper. According to Gogo, 23% of passengers travel with tablets and 42% with laptops. The pervasiveness of Internet and social media users almost necessitates the adoption of marketing tactics that involve both the online and offline spaces.

In fact, a hybrid model is necessary not only for marketing, but also for loyalty programmes. In a joint study with Cranfield University in 2011, 72% of participants (who fly more than five times a year) said they would join a social loyalty programme, where they would get real-world rewards for online actions.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

REVEALED: 10 worst airlines in the world for economy class travel

 
Syrian Air has been named one the world's worst airline for economy class travel
A clue for one of the worst airline economy class!
A lot of the ‘top 10’ lists on this blog focus on the positive – so, the ten best business class cabins, the ten best long-haul airlines, the ten best cabin crew uniforms… etc.

However, today we’ll look at a different kind of list… the ten WORST airlines for economy class travel. The rankings were actually published by BusinessInsider.com, based on “the most unpleasant in-flight experiences” on long-haul routes.

To produce this list, the website looked at ratings (scored on a scale of one to five) from leading airline reviewer Skytrax for seat comfort, in-flight entertainment, cabin cleanliness and condition, quality of meals served, and service efficiency.

Each measure was adjusted to be out of 100, and averaged to produce a final score that reflects the overall in-flight experience.

So which airlines does Business Insider think we should avoid for long-haul travel in economy class? Check the list below - and don't forget to like my Facebook page to stay updated with more aviation top 10s, images and videos - click here to visit.

10 Worst Airlines In The World For Economy Class Travel


  1. Turkmenistan Airlines (Rated 30.8 out of 100 for economy class)
  2. Sudan Airways (Rated 33.3 out of 100 for economy class)
  3. Ukraine International Airlines (Rated 36.3 out of 100 for economy class)
  4. Uzbekistan Airways (Rated 37.5 out of 100 for economy class)
  5. Air Koryo (Rated 39.2 out of 100 for economy class)
  6. Bulgaria Air (Rated 41.8 out of 100 for economy class)
  7. Rossiya Airlines (Rated 42.7 out of 100 for economy class)
  8. Iceland Express (Rated 42.8 out of 100 for economy class)
  9. Tajik Air (Rated 43.3 out of 100 for economy class)
  10. Syrian Air (Rated 44.8 out of 100 for economy class)

What are your thoughts on the list? Were the right airlines featured? Let me know by leaving a comment here or you can also get in touch on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ - I look forward to connecting with you!

ALSO READ: Top 10 Passenger Habits That Annoy Cabin Crew

Friday, May 24, 2013

PHOTO: Has Airbus risen to Boeing's challenge with latest private jet interior?

Bluejay cabin concept for the Airbus ACJ219
Bluejay cabin concept for Airbus ACJ219 [Photo: Airbus]
A number of high-profile announcements have been made at this year’s European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (EBACE) in Switzerland.

From the premiere of Jackie Chan’s Hollywood-style short film to promote the Embraer Legacy 500 private jet (click here to read more and watch the video) to the grand unveiling of Boeing’s BBJ 3 aircraft interiors (click here for photos), the scale has been pretty big.

Of course, Airbus was never going to watch all these announcements in silence. So, what was the European heavyweight’s grand reveal?

Well, Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC) has been presenting its stunning ACJ319 Bluejay cabin concept. Judge for yourself, I’ve included a photo on this page. P.S. Don’t forget to like my Facebook page to stay updated with the latest aviation photos, videos and stories. Click here to visit!

PHOTO SPECIAL: Airbus completes paintwork on first A350 XWB

Designed by the head of ACJC’s own Creative Design Studio Sylvain Mariat, Airbus states this new cabin configuration maximises use of the space provided by the ACJ319 corporate jet and was inspired by the avant-gardism, shapes and colours of director Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

“The contemporary cabin concept’s keystone is its use of light and space in perspectives that can be modulated via translucent partitions between the forward lounge and dining area,” stated a press release.

“These partitions use the latest generation of switchable glass that is able to change from transparent to translucent and vice versa.”

Here’s six more features of the ACJ319 Bluejay cabin concept:


  • A high-low table that employs special extensions at its extremities to seat five people without adding new seats
  • A decorative light made by the French crystal house Baccarat using fibres of carbon and crystal
  • A special U-shaped galley providing crew with a spacious separate area where they can work with ease
  • A “bright and airy” washroom with large square shower
  • A unique VIP seat inspired by the Charles and Ray Eames-designed Lounge Chair, which has become a classic in the history of modern furniture.
  • A fine hologram display that shows the names of arriving guests in soft blue tones – which has never before been seen on a corporate jet and offers a modern complement to the classical crew welcome.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

PHOTO: LOT Polish Airlines welcomes third Boeing 787 Dreamliner


LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 787 [Photo: LOT Polish Airlines]
LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 787 [Photo: LOT Polish Airlines]
LOT Polish Airlines has expanded its fleet of Boeing 787s, with a third Dreamliner arriving at Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport this week.

The aircraft, which flew directly from Pain Field Airport near Seattle, was piloted by LOT captain Jerzy Makula (who also brought the first Dreamliner to Poland), in addition to captain Andrzej Szymański and captain Krzysztof Turkiewicz.

I’ve included a photo of the third LOT Polish Airlines (registration number SP-LRC) on this page. Remember to like The Aviation Writer’s Facebook page for more aviation photos, videos and stories. Click here to visit.

MORE PHOTOS: First look at Thomson Airways’ first Boeing 787 Dreamliner

LOT Polish Airlines is planning to reintroduce its Boeings 787s back to regular service from 5th June 2013. The aircraft comes in a three-class setup (Elite Club, Premium Club and Economy class), with enough seating for 252 passengers.

In total, the European airline expects to have five Boeing 787s by August this year.

PHOTO: Boeing Rolls Out First 787 Dreamliner at Increased Production Rate

Boeing 737 to be converted into aviation-themed restaurant, with waitresses in hostess uniforms


Converting a Boeing 737 into a restaurant is food for thought
Aviation food for thought [Image: stock.xchng]
Here’s a mouth-watering story for aircraft enthusiasts. An ambitious entrepreneur called Buks Westraad is redeveloping an old Boeing 737 into an aviation-themed restaurant, with waitresses dressed as air hostesses. There’ll be waiters too, who will wear flight captain uniforms.

The aircraft, which was previously owned by Congo Airlines, is now parked as Tempe Airport (outside of Bloemfontein), ready for its grand transformation. According to media reports, the kitchen and dining room will be located below the aircraft.

ALSO READ: Turkish Airlines passengers book flights to Dakar, end up in Dhaka

“To get hold of the plane was one thing but with a weight of 30 tonnes and a wingspan of 26 metres, it was a logistical challenge to get it to Bloemfontein,” Buks Westraad told SABC News.

Construction of the restaurant and refitting the airplane will start soon and the new owners are hoping to serve their first meals in September 2013.

What are your thoughts on the idea? Will it prove a winner? As always, leave your comments here and don't forget to like my Facebook page to keep updated with the latest aviation stories, photos and videos. Click here to visit.

ALSO READ: Heart-warming examples of airlines with father-daughter pilot teams

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

WATCH: Embraer’s Hollywood-style short film for Legacy 500 aircraft, starring Jackie Chan

Screenshot of Embraer's Legacy 500 film with Jackie Chan
Screenshot of Embraer's Legacy 500 film with Jackie Chan
Embraer Executive Jets has aimed high with its latest marketing campaign by producing a Hollywood-style short film, starring international superstar Jackie Chan.

The video, which was uploaded onto YouTube yesterday, is a lavish showcase of the Legacy 500 private jet, which is currently being promoted at the 13th European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE).

This is the first time that the midsize jet has made a public appearance outside of Brazil and the film has been designed to illustrate “how the company is bringing tomorrow’s aircraft to the market today”, according to a press release. The Legacy 500 is scheduled to enter service in the first half of 2014.

You can watch it below - and remember to like my Facebook page for the latest aviation videos, photos and stories. Click here to visit.



What are your thoughts on the video? Is it a success or a waste of marketing budget? Let me know by leaving a comment here or you can also get in touch on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ - I look forward to connecting with you!

PHOTOS: First look inside Boeing’s BBJ 3 private jet, based on the 737-900ER

“Embraer Executive Jets has already created a lot of comments about the Legacy 500 and now people can take a look at this remarkable aircraft for themselves,” said Ernest Edwards, President, Embraer Executive Jets.

“The aircraft is no longer a concept and its debut is a very significant milestone for the company. The Legacy 500 is the perfect illustration of what makes us different. Our mission is to bring amenities normally found in larger, more expensive jets to all levels of business aviation and, in doing so, have brought changes to the entire industry.”

PHOTO SPECIAL: Airbus completes paintwork on first A350 XWB

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

PHOTO: Boeing completes latest 747-8 Intercontinental test flight


Test flight for Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental [Photo: Boeing]
Test flight for Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental [Photo: Boeing]
Here's some exciting news about the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, as a special flight has just been completed to test a new package of performance improvements, including the all-important enhanced GE engines.

With Boeing Flight Test and Evaluation Captain Kirk Vining and Chief Pilot Capt. Mark Feuerstein at the controls, the airplane took off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash. at 1:30 p.m. local time and landed at Boeing Field in Seattle approximately four hours later.

"It was a great flight and the engines performed as expected," said Capt. Vining. "This is an important milestone for the flight test programme."

I've included a photo of the test flight on this page - remember to click my Facebook page for more aviation photos, videos and stories. Click here to visit.

MORE PHOTOS: First look inside Boeing’s BBJ 3 private jet, based on the 737-900ER

The Performance Improvement Package (PIP) includes improvements to the GEnx-2B engines and Flight Management Computer (FMC) software, designed to improve the aircraft’s fuel efficiency.

Boeing's efforts to improve the 747-8 family have resulted in an accumulated 1.5 percent gain in fuel efficiency since the first airplane was delivered less than two years ago.

These new improvements will give operators an airplane that is an additional 1.8 percent more efficient, according to the manufacturer.

"These improvements are a part of our commitment to continually improve our great airplanes for our customers," said Eric Lindblad, vice president and general manager of the 747 programme. "Improving fuel efficiency by another 1.8 percent saves the airlines approximately one million dollars per year in fuel per airplane and reduces the carbon footprint."

The new configuration will first deliver in early 2014 and be available for retrofit. Entry into service of the new engines and FMC software will take place in late 2013.

VIDEO: Boeing 737 catches fire in Russia, passengers jump to safety from aircraft wing

Turkish Airlines passengers book flights to Dakar, end up in Dhaka


A nice photo of Dakar, not Dhaka [Source: sxc.hu]
A nice photo of Dakar, not Dhaka [Source: sxc.hu]
Picture this. A married couple book an exotic getaway from Los Angeles to Dakar, where they planned to meet an old friend and visit a new country.

It's a nice enough story, although perhaps not eventful-enough to cover on this blog, right?

Well, here’s the twist. The married couple – Sandy Valdivieso and Triet Vo – didn’t land in Dakar. Not at first, anyway. Instead, they landed in Dhaka, which might sound a bit like Dakar, but its located in Bangladesh… around 7,000 miles from their intended destination in Senegal.

This little twist has turned a routine story into something that is being covered by media powerhouses throughout the world. And the airline, Turkish Airlines, is dealing with the fallout.

According to media reports, the mishap was down to incorrect airport codes being entered into the system – in other words, DAC (the airport code for Dhaka) was used instead of DKR (Dakar’s airport code).

ALSO READ: Heart-warming examples of airlines with father-daughter pilot teams

That’s a pretty bad mistake, although I’m wondering how the couple didn’t notice a little earlier, like when they were transiting at Istanbul airport, the hub of Turkish Airlines.

"I guess we were just going by the flight number on our tickets, and that DAC was printed on them," Sandy Valdivieso told the Los Angeles Times. "You just assume everything is correct."

How about when announcements were made on the aircraft before take-off? Nope, not even then, because they thought ‘Dhaka’ was the way Turkish people pronounced ‘Dakar’.

So they weren’t suspicious until after the aircraft departed and they had a little snooze. By that stage, of course, it was too late. Once they arrived in Bangladesh, Turkish Airlines agreed to fly them back to Istanbul and onto Dakar without any charge.

However, according to the LA Times, first the airline wanted to “track down and hear the recording of Valdivieso booking a trip to Senegal before they could acknowledge that the wrong airport code had been put on their tickets”.

Following all this media coverage, the couple have been offered free economy class tickets to any Turkish Airlines destination.

ALSO READ: Passengers vs Airlines - 5 Recent Incidents That Have Resulted In Lawsuits!

I'm interested to hear where everyone sides? Should the passengers be compensated or were they at fault? Let me know by leaving a comment here or you can also get in touch on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ - I look forward to connecting with you!

PHOTO: Philippine Airlines celebrates arrival of fifth Boeing 777-300ER


The brand new Philippine Airlines Boeing 777 [Photo: PAL]
 The brand new Philippine Airlines Boeing 777 [Photo: PAL]
Here’s a story for Boeing 777 fans! Philippine Airlines (PAL) has taken delivery of its fifth Boeing 777-300ER, bringing the national carrier’s total fleet count to a respectable 45.

The new aircraft, which arrived from Seattle, will complement PAL’s route expansion in Asia, Australia and the Middle East.

I’ve included a photo of the exterior on this page, while the inside has 42 business class seats and 328 economy class seats.

Remember to like my Facebook page to keep updated with the latest aviation photos, videos and stories. Click here to visit.

MORE PHOTOS: First look inside Boeing’s BBJ 3 private jet, based on the 737-900ER

“The long range Boeing 777-300ER's fuel efficiency is perfect for PAL’s long-haul flights to Canada as well as regional flights to Hong Kong and China,” stated a Philippine Airlines press release.

“State-of-the-art features include full flat business class seats and economy seats fitted with individual Audio Video on Demand entertainment system.”

MORE PHOTOS: First look at Thomson Airways’ first Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Monday, May 20, 2013

PHOTOS: First look inside Boeing’s BBJ 3 private jet, based on the 737-900ER


The plush interiors of Boeing's BBJ 3 [Photo: Boeing]
The plush interiors of Boeing's BBJ 3 [Photo: Boeing]
I’ve never written about private jets on this blog until now, but here’s a nice story to kick-start the coverage!

Over at the European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (EBACE), which is taking place in Switzerland, Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) is displaying a BBJ 3 for the very first time.

The aircraft, based on the Boeing 737-900ER, was outfitted with custom VIP interiors at Jet Aviation in Basel, Switzerland and the end result is pretty special. Check out a photo on this page – and then head over to my Facebook page to view the entire photo album!

The BBJ 3 is currently for sale, so the exterior remains "green" or unpainted, ready for a livery to be selected by a new owner.

PHOTO SPECIAL: Airbus completes paintwork on first A350 XWB

The range of the BBJ 3 exceeds that of other business jets in its class, according to Boeing. It can fly 4,900 nautical miles; more than 1,500 nautical miles (3 hours) farther than its direct competitor.

"The BBJ 3 range advantage is the reason why it has outsold its direct competitor by seven-to-one," said Capt. Steve Taylor, president, Boeing Business Jets. "Our customers demand airplanes with great performance, enabling them to conduct business around the world."

The cabin interior is finished in a bright, high-gloss sycamore wood, with hand-crafted marquetry woodwork integrated in the entrance panel. It features a large main lounge and a smaller area for staff, a dining room and a bedroom suite with a queen-sized bed and bathroom with a shower.

MORE PHOTOS: First look at Thomson Airways’ first Boeing 787 Dreamliner

The BBJ 3 on display can carry 38 passengers and eight crew members. It has a large cargo area that holds 230 pieces of luggage.

To date, seven BBJ 3s have been ordered. Three are in completion; four are in service. The next airplane is scheduled to enter into service June 1.

MORE PHOTOS: Boeing Rolls Out First 787 Dreamliner at Increased Production Rate

PHOTOS: Etihad Airways celebrates maiden flight to Amsterdam


Etihad's maiden Amsterdam flight [Photo: Etihad Airways]
Etihad's maiden Amsterdam flight [Photo: Etihad Airways]
During my time as the editor of Aviation Business magazine, I was lucky enough to travel on various inaugural flights, and I always enjoyed the excitement onboard as the aircraft landed at a new destination for the first time… often greeted with a traditional water canon salute to mark the occasion.

Last week, Etihad Airways celebrated its inaugural flight to Amsterdam, with the airline’s Airbus A330-200 receiving a ceremonial water cannon salute by Dutch fire engines at the Netherlands capital.

What’s more, passengers on the flight were presented with wooden tulips as a gift from Schiphol Airport to mark the historic flight.

I’ve included a photo from the inaugural flight on this page, while a photo album has been uploaded on my Facebook page – click here to view the images.

Amsterdam joins a group of 17 leading European cities that Etihad Airways flies to including Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Geneva, London and Paris.

Three more Etihad stories to read on TheAviationWriter.com:

Sunday, May 19, 2013

VIDEO: Boeing 737 catches fire in Russia, passengers jump to safety from aircraft wing


Screenshot of video footage from the UTair Boeing 737 fire
Screenshot of video footage from the UTair Boeing 737 fire
UTair has been placed under the media spotlight this week, after a recent fire onboard the Russian carrier’s Boeing 737 was captured on video.

Reports have suggested that 130 people and six crew members were onboard the aircraft when the incident occurred at Vnukovo International Airport (28 kilometres from central Moscow).

The video (which is available below) was filmed by television crew, who happened to be travelling on the flight from Stavropol. Passengers are seen jumping from one of the aircraft’s wings and shooting down an evacuation slide.

"A Boeing 737 was en route from Stavropol to Moscow. While it was landing at Vnukovo at about 8:00 a.m., all tires of the landing gear's left leg collapsed and burst into flames. The fire was put out quickly, and no one was injured," a source told Russia Beyond The Headlines.

MORE VIDEOS: Chinese airline employee attempts to throw chair at passenger

Although no passenger or crew injuries were reported, the airport was temporarily closed for two hours as the aircraft was removed from the runway, during which time all flights bound for Vnukovo were directed to alternate airports.

Don't forget to like the Aviation Writer's Facebook page to keep updated with the latest aviation videos, photos and stories. Click here to visit!



MORE VIDEOS: Police vehicle rammed into aircraft during Brazil drug bust

Infographic: A look at the Etihad Airways aircraft fleet

If you’re the type of person that gets excited about random aircraft facts (like me!), then you’ll probably enjoy this cool info-graphic that I came across last week, which showcases the Etihad Airways aircraft fleet.

The UAE national carrier has one of the fastest-growing and modern fleets in the world, with a combination of Airbus and Boeing aircraft.

Check out the info-graphic below for up-to-date statistics on the exact models, as well as ‘fun facts’ such as passenger capacity, wing span, top speeds and total range for each aircraft.

Plus, there are even some interesting comparisons to Formula 1 racing cars, as Etihad Airways is the title sponsor of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Enjoy! And if you're hungry for more, head over to the fleet page on Etihad’s website for additional information.

Don't forget to like my Facebook page for more aviation-related photos, videos and infographics. Click here to visit.


Friday, May 17, 2013

China produces first Airbus A320 with sharklets, delivered to China Eastern Airlines


First A320 with sharklets produced in China [Photo: Airbus]
First A320 with sharklets produced in China [Photo: Airbus]
Let’s take a break from the air rage stories I’ve been posting about China and look at some more positive aviation news from the country.

China Eastern Airlines has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320 equipped with sharklets, making it the first Chinese airline to use the fuel saving wing tip devices.

Not only that, but the aircraft is also the first sharklets-equipped A320 to be assembled and delivered in Tianjin. Double milestone!

The A320 (pictures on this page), powered by IAE V2500 engines, features a two class cabin, seating 158 passengers with eight in business class and 150 in economy. Wasting no time at all, its first commercial flight will be operated from Shanghai to Dalian tomorrow. Visit my Facebook page for more aircraft photos.

China Eastern Airlines welcomes new A320 [Photo: Airbus]
China Eastern Airlines welcomes new A320 [Photo: Airbus]
“As the first and biggest Airbus customer in China, China Eastern and Airbus have long-term good cooperation. China Eastern is honored to be the first customer of A320 with sharklets in China,” said Shu Mingjiang, Vice President Flight Operations, China Eastern.

“In the near future, China Eastern will further expand our sharklet equipped A320 family fleet.”

ALSO READ: A step too far? Chinese airline to dress flight attendants as maids and butlers

Sharklets are made from light-weight composites and are 2.4 metres tall. They are an option on new-build A320 Family aircraft and standard on all members of the new A320neo family.

According to Airbus, they offer operators up to four per cent fuel burn reduction on longer range sectors and provide the flexibility of either adding an additional 100 nautical miles range or increased payload capability of up to 450 kilograms.

PHOTO SPECIAL: Airbus completes paintwork on first A350 XWB

Airbus Tianjin Delivery Centre has delivered 126 aircraft since June 2009 and plans to deliver 46 aircraft in total in 2013.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Southwest becomes first airline to order Boeing 737 MAX 7


Boeing and Southwest Airlines have announced the launch of the 737 MAX 7
Boeing and Southwest Airlines announced today the launch of the 737 MAX 7, the third member of the 737 MAX family. The Dallas-based carrier and launch customer for the 737 MAX program became the first airline to order the 737 MAX 7, when it converted 30 existing orders for Next-Generation 737s into orders for the 737 MAX 7.

Southwest also exercised options to add five more Next-Generation 737-800s to its fleet. These airplanes, along with the 737 MAX 7s, are part of Southwest's ongoing effort to improve fuel efficiency and profitability. The 737 MAX 7 supports Southwest's expanding fleet modernization effort. Southwest is expected to take its first 737 MAX 7 delivery in 2019.

PHOTOS: First look at Thomson Airways’ first Boeing 787 Dreamliner

"We are thrilled to announce that Southwest Airlines and Boeing have entered into an agreement for Southwest to be the launch customer for the Boeing MAX 7 series, with deliveries beginning in 2019," said Gary C. Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO. "The 737 MAX 7 builds on the strengths of today's Next-Generation 737-700, incorporating the latest CFM International LEAP-1B engines is expected to reduce fuel burn and CO2 emissions by an additional 12 percent over today's most fuel-efficient single-aisle airplane."

The 737 MAX 7 brings the most advanced engine technologies to the world's best-selling airplane, building on the strengths of today's Next-Generation 737-700. The 110-ft long airplane incorporates the latest CFM International LEAP-1B engines to deliver improved efficiency with the most reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. The 737 MAX 7 also will extend the range over today's 737-700 by approximately 400 nautical miles (741 km).

PHOTO: Boeing Rolls Out First 787 Dreamliner at Increased Production Rate

"Southwest has been a valued partner in the evolution of the 737 program," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. "We have worked together to launch several models of the 737 including the 737 MAX family in 2011. We are excited to bring the 737 MAX 7 to market with Southwest."

With the MAX 7 conversions and exercised options for 737-800s, Southwest's unfilled orders consist of 180 737 MAX airplanes and 137 Next-Generation 737s. The 737 MAX now has orders for 1,315 airplanes.

Amazing time-lapse video of British Airways staff creating Boeing 747 artwork

VIDEO: Chinese airline employee attempts to throw chair at passenger


Chinese airline worker loses his cool with passengers
Chinese airline worker loses his cool with passengers
I’ve covered a number of different stories about ‘air rage’ in China on this blog, from passengers cheering as a flight attendant is attacked to the infamous video of a government official smashing computer equipment and attempting to break windows after missing his flight.

Well, here’s another incident that’s being covered in the media today. New footage has emerged that shows a China Eastern Airlines employee trying to fling a steel chair at a passenger in Beijing airport.

The video was initially uploaded on Chinese website YouKu and received more than 100,000 hits, with the airline even asking for it to be removed.

The heated exchange between airline worker and passenger was captured on video by American journalist Matt Sheehan, who was also travelling on the China Eastern Airlines flight. You can view the footage and Matt’s commentary below, as he recalls the incident for Beijing Cream website.



MORE VIDEOS: Police vehicle rammed into aircraft during Brazil drug bust

Apparently the situation arose due to a delayed flight with incorrect information being communicated about boarding gates, which left passengers shifting from gate to gate without actually boarding.

With frustration growing, a group of passengers eventually found China Eastern Airlines staff and demanded to know the reasons behind the repeated misinformation. Apparently some insults were directed at the employees, together with demands for compensation.

This is where the chair-thrower (i.e. China Eastern Airlines manager) arrives, initially trying to calm down the group of passengers. However, after refusing to offer compensation, a male passenger threw a newspaper into the manager’s face.

The manager actually remained calm and started to walk away. However, he was then struck in the face by a water bottle and lost his temper. As you’ll watch in the video, the manager tried to throw a chair at the bottle thrower, only to be restrained by his colleagues. Eventually a more senior China Eastern manager arrived and settled the crowd.

MORE VIDEOS: Fake nuns caught with cocaine at Colombia airport

The unhappy passengers were taken to the correct gate (where around 100 other passengers were already located) and left only their flight with a four hour delay.

What are your views on the situation? Do you sympathise with the employee or were the passengers justified due to continued misinformation? As always, please feel free to share your comments here, and you can also get in touch on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ - I look forward to connecting with you!

MORE VIDEOS: Shocking video of passenger smoking on flight, despite warnings

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

PHOTO: MIAT Mongolian Airlines receives new Boeing 767-300ER


MIAT Mongolian Airlines' new Boeing 767-300ER [Photo: Boeing]
MIAT Mongolian Airlines' new Boeing 767 [Photo: Boeing]
While everyone’s still talking about the Airbus A350 XWB, after photos were released yesterday of the aircraft fully painted (click here to see them), today is Boeing’s turn to make a splash.

Okay, we’re not talking about a major splash on the same level as Airbus managed yesterday, but a smaller scale announcement about Boeing’s latest delivery.

MIAT Mongolian Airlines has just received a 767-300ER (extended range), which is actually the first-ever direct purchase delivery to the airline.

To celebrate, I’ve included a photo of the special aircraft on this page. And remember, you’ll find all the latest aircraft images and more on my Facebook page – click here to visit (and hopefully like) the page.

MORE PHOTOS: First look at Thomson Airways’ first Boeing 787 Dreamliner

"This is a momentous step forward for MIAT Mongolian Airlines as we continue to enhance our fleet," said Jargalsaikhan Gungaa, President and CEO of MIAT Mongolian Airlines.

"We are pleased with the comfort, range and payload of the new 767-300ER and we look forward to introducing it into our long-haul fleet."

Boeing describes its 767 family as providing ‘maximum market versatility in the 200- to 300-seat market’. Today, more than 1,000 Boeing 767s have been delivered to more than 120 operators worldwide.

MORE PHOTOS: Boeing Rolls Out First 787 Dreamliner at Increased Production Rate

Monday, May 13, 2013

PHOTO SPECIAL: Airbus completes paintwork on first A350 XWB


The first Airbus A350 XWB is now painted [Photo: Airbus]
The first Airbus A350 XWB is now painted [Photo: Airbus]
Airbus has done a great job at keeping everyone updated with the latest A350 XWB developments.

A week back, lighting strike tests were performed on the forthcoming aircraft (click here for the story / photos) and now another milestone has been completed, with paintwork completed on the first A350 XWB (“MSN001”)!

To celebrate, I’ve included a photo of the aircraft with its special Airbus livery, fresh from the paint shop in Toulouse. And there’s a whole photo album on my Facebook page – click here to view it - plus check out the links to more photo galleries below.

The aircraft painting was achieved in less than seven days and shows that MSN001 is progressing well on its route to first flight.

Next, MSN001 will start the final tests before its maiden flight this summer. And speculation is growing about whether it will appear at this year’s Paris International Airshow or not… watch this space as we try to find out!


Dramatic video: Police vehicle rammed into aircraft during Brazil drug bust


Screenshot of the moment Brazilian police ram into a light aircraft
Screenshot of the moment police ram into a light aircraft
Less than a week ago, I posted a dramatic story about three fake nuns who were caught trying to smuggle cocaine in a Colombian airport (click here to read it).

Weirdly enough, here’s an even more dramatic follow-up, with another aviation-related drug bust (although this one takes place in Southeast Brazil).

Video footage has emerged online showing a light aircraft trying to take-off with drugs onboard, only to be stopped by Brazilian federal police officers, who rammed their vehicle into the plane before it could depart.

MORE VIDEOS: Shocking footage of passenger smoking on flight, despite warnings

According to a translation by The Huffington Post, the officer states: "Go, go, go! Let me get around him and I'll close in on the plane”.

There’s some gunfire and soon afterwards the light aircraft is forced off the dusty, remote airstrip.

That’s where the footage stops, although media reports suggest that five people were arrested in the raid, which recovered around 230kg of cocaine paste.

MORE VIDEOS: US policeman rescues airport security women from 'mentally unstable' attacker

Sunday, May 12, 2013

PHOTOS: First look at Thomson Airways’ first Boeing 787 Dreamliner



Thomson Airways’ first Boeing 787 at Boeing’s Paine Field
UK-based Thomson Airways has been cleared to operate its first long-haul flight using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner in the second week of July 2013.

According to the airline’s blog, lucky passengers heading to Cancun and Florida from 8th July will be the first to travel long-haul on the aircraft.

Thomson Airways’ first Boeing 787 at Boeing’s Paine Field To celebrate the forthcoming milestone, here’s some eye-catching photos of Thomson Airways’ first Boeing 787 Dreamliner, as supplied to TheAviationWriter.com by Flickr user MoonM, who lives near the Boeing Everett factory.

The photos were taken earlier this month at Boeing’s Paine Field (KPAE).

Remember to visit my Facebook page for more Dreamliner images from various airlines (plus other cool aircraft pics).

Other photo stories on TheAviationWriter.com:







Top 25: World’s best airlines for booking flights with frequent flier miles

World’s best airlines for booking flights using frequent flier milesWhen it comes to booking flights using your frequent flier miles, which airlines offer the best availability? The topic was recently covered by IdeaWorksCompany, with interesting results.

As part of the company's fourth annual ‘Switchfly Reward Seat Availability Survey’, more than 7,500 booking queries were entered into 25 airline frequent flier programme websites in March 2013.

The top routes for each airline were checked to assess reward seat availability, with a minimum of two seats needed for each outbound and inbound reward reservation query.

The survey results are listed below, with ‘% of total availability’ in brackets next to each airline (representing the frequency of queries which produced one or more available flights for a roundtrip pair of travel dates).

Note that the first three airlines are tied in first place with an impressive 100% score. In addition, the 5th, 13th and 20th positions are also tied.



What are your views on the survey results? As usual, you can leave a comment here or you can also get in touch on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ - I look forward to connecting with you!

“Ongoing consolidation and capacity cuts continue to squeeze reward seat availability, and yet frequent flier programmes find ways to grow their membership and drive redemption,” said Daniel Farrar, CEO of Switchfly.

“While often viewed as a programme’s primary redemption benefit, reward seats need not be the final frontier. Travelers banking a percentage of the trillions of miles outstanding today have interesting options as more programs start to think ‘outside the cabin’ to include rewards through joint ventures and alliance partners, hotel nights, rental cars, other travel and retail purchases and even cash.”

Thursday, May 9, 2013

PHOTO: Boeing Rolls Out First 787 Dreamliner at Increased Production Rate


First Boeing 787 aircraft at increased production rate [Photo: Boeing]
First 787 at increased production rate [Photo: Boeing]
After all the hassles that Boeing has been experiencing with its 787 aircraft, it’s great to hear that the first Dreamliner to be built at the increased production rate of seven airplanes per month has just rolled out of the factory.

The airplane, which rolled out earlier this week, is the 114th 787 to be built overall and the 100th 787 to be built at the Everett, Wash., factory.

To celebrate, I’ve included a cool photo of the aircraft on this page, supplied by Boeing, which shows this special 787 is a British Airways one! Plus you can will find lots of Dreamliner photos on my Facebook page, click here to visit.

MORE PHOTOS: First look at Norwegian Air’s Boeing 787 in red and white livery

Boeing's 787 programme is on track to achieve a planned 10 per month rate by year-end. The production rate accounts for airplanes built at the Everett Final Assembly facility, the Everett Temporary Surge Line and Boeing South Carolina.

To date, 50 787s have been delivered to eight airlines. The programme has more than 800 unfilled orders with 58 customers worldwide.

MORE PHOTOS: China receives its 1000th Boeing aircraft, featuring a special peacock livery