Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2015: 201,296
2014: 363,407
Total: 1,122,897





Singapore Airlines Unveils Premium Economy Product

The Zodiac manufactured seat represents Singapore's entry to the Premium Economy space.

The Zodiac-manufactured seat represents Singapore’s entry to the Premium Economy space – Image: Singapore Airlines

Many of Singapore Airlines‘ Asian and European competitors have entered the premium economy market over the past five years. It’s a growing segment. This left analysts and frequent Singapore passengers wondering if it was going to as well. After all, Singapore’s economy experience has not been anything below top-notch since its creation. Recently though, the airline announced that they would indeed be offering a premium economy product.

Ready to board! Checking out the new interior on this Singapore Airlines 777-300ER at the Boeing Everett Delivery Center.

A Singapore Airlines 777-300ER at the Boeing Everett Delivery Center

“Many of our customers have been asking for a Premium Economy offering and we are confident that what we are delivering will exceed their expectations,” said Singapore Airlines Executive Vice President Commercial, Mr. Mak Swee Wah. “The new cabin product is the culmination of two years of work, which included extensive research and focus group studies involving customers and our design partners.”

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Opinion: Qatar Airways Responds to Baseless Allegations

His Excellency Akbar Al Baker flanked by two senior Qatar Airways executives at his DC press conference. Photo - Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

His Excellency Akbar Al Baker flanked by two senior Qatar Airways executives at his DC press conference – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

There is a ridiculous war of words over whether or not American customers deserve to have choice.  I’ve been over the open skies debate before, many times. Both here and other places. You know where I stand; I support the middle eastern carriers. I am not here to talk about the whole debate today, but am here to talk about only one facet of it – Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways has been the target of a certain American that neither myself nor H.E. Akbar Al Baker would like to name. I flew to Washington D.C. to watch Qatar’s head shoot down these allegations of questionable legality in person. Furthermore, it’s always a pleasure to see my favorite aviation personality.

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I Love the Tupolev Tu-154

An Air Koryo Tu-154B-2 parked on the ramp at FNJ. Photo - Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter.

An Air Koryo Tu-154B-2 parked on the ramp at FNJ – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

I have a strange and obsessive love for the Tupolev Tu-154. How obsessive, you ask? Well, take a look at my model cabinet. That’s right. I own every possible Tu-154 model out there. I even have a few custom ones on order.

No one can say I don't love the Tu-154. Photo - Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

No one can say I don’t love the Tu-154 – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

I seek out 154s to fly on; I have three lined up this year.

So, what makes this plane so awesome? Well, I was going to do an article last year about what it was like to fly on an 154M, but then Jacob flew on a better M on almost the same day. So we’ll have to wait for the 154Bs later this year (the older, rarer version of the 154).

Until then, let’s discuss the history of this aircraft.

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Malaysia Airlines Might Be Downsizing. Big Time. Where Will Their Planes Go?

An Emirates A380 landing at Los Angeles Airport. Photo - Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

An Emirates A380 landing at Los Angeles Airport – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

It’s no secret that Malaysia Airlines had a terrible 2014. So terrible that the fate of the airline hangs in the balance. The government, tired of writing blank checks to keep the airline afloat, has demanded restructuring. Hiring Christoph Mueller (of Aer Lingus hatchet-man fame), they were, finally, not going to pull any punches.

Part of this is an impressive (rumored) fleet disposition. Winding down of the entire 777 fleet by the end of next year, complete dissolving of MASkargo, and the biggest elephant in the room of all; removal of their A380s.

Can becoming a regional airline centered around the A330 save Malaysia Airlines? I’m not hopeful, but that’s not what I am here to talk about today.

I want to discuss where the planes are likely to go.

Continue reading Malaysia Airlines Might Be Downsizing. Big Time. Where Will Their Planes Go?

Nothing Stops a Charging M-4/3M Bison – Soviets Create an Intercontinental Bomber

Boeing B-47 Stratojet - Photo: Ahren | Flickr CC

Boeing B-47 Stratojet – Photo: Ahren | Flickr CC

On December 17, 1947, Boeing’s B-47 Stratojet took to the skies. The era of the jet-bomber had commenced, and the Russians had nothing. Of course, it’s no question to those familiar with Soviet aviation politics of the era to assume who was given the order to directly counter the B-47. For those of you less familiar, it was Andrei Tupolev. Using the TsAGI (Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute) data that would later beget the creation of the Tu-95, Tupolev would create the wildly-successful Tu-16. This would have been sufficient if it was not immediately apparent that the Americans and the English were working on jet bombers with truly intercontinental range. Stalin demanded parity with the West by any means necessary.

What resulted was something rather surprising. His trusty servant Tupolev replied with something slightly more rude than “excuse me, I am busy working on the Tu-16 and the Tu-80 right now – I can’t work miracles.” Standing up to Stalin was, in general, a bad idea. So Stalin came back and offered to give this project “All Union” importance. Tupolev continued to turn him down. The real reason behind Tupolev’s refusal was that he simply did not trust the state of Soviet turbojet technology’s abilities to create a truly intercontinental bomber. Fast way to  an early retirement in Crimea, for most.

Continue reading Nothing Stops a Charging M-4/3M Bison – Soviets Create an Intercontinental Bomber