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Thursday, April 28, 2011

QF Engineering strike may go ahead.


Qantas Engineers look set to strike with 11th hour talks not likely to achieve a resolution.
Officials with the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association hold little hope that the enterprise agreement talks will resolve outstanding job security issues that include assurances heavy maintenance on new aircraft types be done in Australia.
It is believed that instead of a full stoppage strike the action will likely take the form of work to rule, overtime ban and rolling stoppages.

Find out more from theaustralian.com.au's aviation writer Steve Creedy HERE

New Virgin brand

As previously mentioned in the "game changing" plan introduced by Virgin group CEO John Borghetti, he had hoped to rebrand the Virgin group of airlines - Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue, Polynesian Blue & V Australia under 1 brand.

Sadly for Mr Borghetti this doesn't look to be the case with the airline set to rebrand Virgin Blue as Virgin Australia while the Pacific & Polynesian Blue brands look likely to be folded into the V Australia brand.

Virgin have submitted their new name/logo to be trademarked in Australia and a black and white copy as seen here is available through IP Australia the government body responsible.
Further to this the first aircraft likely to be painted in the scheme Boeing 737-81D VH-YFC flew MEL-CHC on Friday 22-April-2011 and was towed into the paint shop on Monday 25-April-2011.  This ties in with an expected brand launch in the first week of May.

Virgin are also understood to have taken their first Airbus A330-200 VH-XFA to China recently where it had the new livery applied, and undertook filming work for the brand launch, before being removed from the livery before returning to Australia for further proving/training flights.

For more on the upcoming brand changes check out Will Horton's article on his Wings Down Under blog at flightglobal.com HERE

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wellingtons wind strikes again - Jetstar A320 hit


Jetstar have fallen victim to the Wellington winds, with a baggage cart being blown into the engine nacelle of one of their A320s, forcing the cancellation of their 0820 JQ262 WLG-AKL flight, and a flow on effect with other scheduled flights delayed, some severely as a result of the required engineering checks.

Read about it from the nzherald.co.nz HERE

Friday, April 22, 2011

Updates from Classic Fighters

For live updates from Classic Fighters 2011 follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/nzompilot

alternatively you can follow @errolwi or search the hashtags #Omaka or #ClassicFighters.

Tweeting live from Classic Fighters all weekend long.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter chaos as Tiger cancel flights

In what could turn into an Easter weekend disaster, Tiger Airways have so far today cancelled two packed flights, one Melbourne-Sydney and one Melbourne-Brisbane, potentially in the wake of serious safety concerns from CASA.

CASA have sent Tiger a show cause notice, believed to be focused on aircraft maintenance and pilot training standards.

Tiger claim todays cancellations are not related to this notice and are for "operational reasons", but that doesnt help the passengers who were booked on these flights, or those who are booked with Tiger over the Easter weekend holiday period who face uncertainty as to whether their flights will operate, or whether they will be left stranded.

For more on the troubles Tiger face read the couriermail.com.au article by Steve Lewis HERE or theaustralian.com.au article from the AAP HERE

Monday, April 18, 2011

Classic Fighters 2011

I am back in Blenheim, coping with the cold, and looking forward to Classic Fighters 2011 this coming weekend, Easter 22-24 April, at Omaka Aerodrome (NZOM)

I will hopefully be able to provide reports of each days activities on the blog during the show, but will definitely write the show up after its over.

If any readers or fellow bloggers are heading down and want to catch up, and havent been in contact via one of the other websites, let me know.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Trip report:: 3 flight, 3 types

3 flights, 3 types descending in size flight to flight
Friday 15-April-2010
DJ82 BNE-CHC ZK-PBM 737-8FE Seat: 20A

Push back was smooth and a few minutes early, then we had a short taxi before departure from 01 followed by a right hand turn before flying down to CHC, where with a nice westerly tail wind we arrived early after a roughly 2hr 40min flight.

We had a good crew, all female who made the flight pleasant even keeping the 3yr old ranga kid in front of me placated.  He also responded well to them, sitting down and doing his belt up when they told him to.

The legroom was fine for a 3hr flight but the buy on board wasn’t too flash.  Those of you who follow this blog will know that I have commented about the “new” Luke Managan inspired menu, and now that I’ve tried it, I can review it.

I chose the Roast Beef, semi dried tomato, rocket & horseradish Panini, along with water, and the Jim beam & pepsi.  Once again I’ll say it, I am very disappointed they got rid of the premixed cans of Jim Beam & Cola, and replaced it with a 50ml bottle of Jim Beam at $7 with the mixer separate at 43 and now Pepsi.  The water was only 300ml so was exorbitant at $3, and the Panini was disappointing, it was $10 and the bread wasn’t fresh and was slightly stale. It also had very little taste and over all I wasn’t impressed.
Overall the flight wasn’t too bad, I’m just disappointed in the “new” buy on board menu that the Virgin Group has chosen to go with.  I know all the airlines are going with celebrity chef’s but sorry Luke Mangan hasn’t created food to be proud of.

Saturday 16-April-2010
NZ5018 CHC-WLG ZK-MCY ATR 72-500 Seat: 09A

I was really looking forward to this flight as it was to be my 1st in an ATR, and I looked forward to ticking another of NZs types off my list.  I had booked this flight specifically to get the ATR over the other flights where I would’ve been in a 733.

I was dropped at the airport and walked the whole way through the new terminal to get to Air New Zealand check in which is still in the old terminal, of course most of this was past the new Air New Zealand check in area.  Once I got there and had checked in, tagged my bag and got it onto the belt and off, I went to head to the gate.  Looking at my boarding pass I realise I was on gate 47, which is a new gate in the new terminal.

I headed back the way I had come, and found the new domestic area (Gates 43-52)  It is a very impressive looking building, and the furniture that Air New Zealand have put in there is contemporary and works well.

Boarding for the flight was orderly, even if it was at the same time as a Q300 for Nelson was also boarding.  You go from the lounge, through the “boarding gate” then walk down a long long tunnel area outside until you reach your individual gate, before walking out across the tarmac to your aircraft.

Boarding was orderly and I quickly found my seat and settled in.  09A is at the rear end of the wing, affording great views of the flaps, and the underside of the wing.  The outboard actuator?? (can someone tell me if this is the correct name) had the flap settings painted on it, so we departed with flaps 15 and landed with flaps 30.
I was a bit disappointed with the leg room on the ATR and was very cramped.  The service on the flight was as expected for a short NZ domestic sector.  A water run then a tea and coffee run, and finally a run with the air new Zealand lollies.

We had a bit of a hold with a left hand orbit over the Blenheim/Rarangi area before heading up and landing into the north, despite the co-pilot telling us earlier there was a southerly blowing and we’d be landing from the north.  There was no wind and we had a smooth landing, very disappointing considering some of the fun landings Wellington can throw up.

Saturday 16-April-2010
NZ2495 WLG-BHE ZK-EAH B1900D Seat: 05A

The Wellington weather as well as the Blenheim weather had been rubbish all day and as a result the flight was late.  We were scheduled to depart Wellington at 1810 we finally left around 1925/1930ish.  The flight was as expected for a short 25min leg, slightly cramped with all my bags under the seat but hey it is the shortest flight in the NZ network so who cares.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

CAA charge Pacific Blue pilot

The CAA have charged a Pacific Blue pilot for allegedly compromising safety after departing Queenstown last year after the deadline for departures.
It was reported at the time Flight DJ89 departed Queenstown for Sydney on June 22 in darkness, potentially endangering the 140 passengers and crew aboard.
Read the full article from stuff.co.nz HERE

Friday, April 8, 2011

NZ/EY codeshare approved

Air New Zealand says its codesahre agreement with Etihad has been approved by the government.

This will make a nice tidy Australasian dominance by Etihad who already has a codeshare arrangement in place with Virgin Blue as does Air New Zealand.
Under the agreement, Etihad Airways will code share on Air New Zealand trans-Tasman and domestic services.
The flights should be on sale reasonably quickly, by the 14th April, with travel commencing from the 18th.

Read more from stuff.co.nz HERE

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Air NZ announce new group general manager, international airline

One of the title's thats a mouthful - Air New Zealand's "Group General Manager, International Airline" has a new holder.  Former Unilever Canada CEO Christopher Luxon has been appointed to the role vacated by Ed Simms.

Mr Luxon will take up the role from May 30th.

Read more from stuff.co.nz HERE and the nzherald.co.nz HERE

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

NZ & QF to inspect 737 Classics

Air New Zealand are set to inspect all 15 of their 733s for cracking while QF only have 5 734 aircraft that require checking as part of a worldwide safety directive after the explosive decompression of a Southwest 737 last week.

The airlines do not expect any service disruptions from the inspections, which were called for after the 1 April fuselage rupture incident on board a Southwest Airlines 737-300.
Qantas says it plans to inspect its aircraft within 10 days while ANZ says it will inspect its single high-cycle aircraft within five days and its remaining aircraft within 20 days. Neither carrier has grounded aircraft.
The aircraft in question all have line numbers in the range 2553-3132, the five Qantas aircraft affected are VH-TJU, TJW, TJX, TJY & TJZ with reports that no Jetconnect aircraft will be inspected, although there is a link to Jetconnect as VH-TJZ is formerly ZK-JTS and is now reported as stored.

Read more from Flight Global HERE and Flight Global Wings Down Under blogger Will Horton HERE

Alternatively the sensationalistic headline Air New Zealand planes checked after explosion leads to the story from stuff.co.nz

Friday, April 1, 2011

CHC set to welcome D7

Christchurch is set to welcome the inaugural arrival tonight Friday 01-April-2011 of Air Asia X flight D72754/XAX2754 direct from Kuala Lumpur.

The flight is scheduled to touch down at 2355 local.  The aircraft with the honour of operating this first flight is 9M-XXH an Airbus A330-343X delivered new to Air Asia X on 22-November-2010

This new service is good news for Christchurch in the wake of flight cuts and time changes from other airlines as a result of the February 22nd earthquake.

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