Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2015: 25,266
2014: 363,407
Total: 946,866

Our Top Favorites of 2014 – AirlineReporter Yearly Review

Some of the fun I had this year

Some of the fun had this year

A new year always gives us a chance to step back and see what we enjoyed in the previous year, how much we have grown and changed, and what we look forward to in the new year.

I have to say that I am so proud of what our team has been able to do in 2014. We have become a true team of dedicated folks who love to share our passion for aviation and airlines. We also love how the AirlineReporter family has grown (that includes you, amazing readers). We have been given bigger and better opportunities and we couldn’t do it without our readers supporting what we do!

Let’s take a look at our numbers. We had our best month ever in 2014, with hitting a half-million visitors in a month. Man, I remembered how excited I was when we got 5,000. We also surpassed 50,000 Twitter followers and are getting close to 55,000. We have over 6.3 million views on our Flickr page, 2.2 million views of our YouTube videos, over 3,400 Facebook fans, and we recently started our Instagram account (and could use a bit more love there).

Many miles flown by our team to cover stories - Image: gcmap.com

Many miles flown by our team to cover stories – Image: gcmap.com

Our team flew over 360,000 miles in 2014, which is about 30,000 miles more than 2013. We once again didn’t make it to Africa (we did in 2012), so that is a big goal for us in 2015. Since the site was started in 2009, we have flown over 921,600 miles. That means that in early 2015, we should hit the 1 million mile mark, which is very exciting (if anyone cares, we flew about 91,000 miles in 2012; 81,000 in 2011; 50,000 in 2010; and only 5,000 in 2009).

So let’s take a look at some of the highlights of this past year…

Continue reading Our Top Favorites of 2014 – AirlineReporter Yearly Review

Champagne, Caviar, and a Shower at 40,000FT – Emirates A380 First Class Review Part 2

Emirates A380 Bar/Lounge Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Emirates A380 Bar/Lounge – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

In part one of my review, I covered the standard features of the first class suite and product on-board the Emirates A380. In part two, I will cover the unique features of the Emirates A380 available to premium class passengers including the Business Class bar/lounge.

For first and business class passengers, the bar at the rear of the main deck is the place to be and be seen on any A380 flight. It is truly a unique experience and comes complete with a dedicated bartender who will mix up your favorite drink.

Whilst first class passengers get their own bar at the front of the cabin, it tends to be a bit lonely and there is no where to sit; thus, I recommend the business class bar at the back. While the business bar does not have the same high-end beverages as at the first class bar, the crew will happily bring these premium beverages to you when you are in the business bar.

While the first class bar has a wide range of premium beverages, it lacks the atmosphere of the business class bar Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

While the first class bar has a wide range of premium beverages, it lacks the atmosphere of the business class bar – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The bar is set up in a fashion akin to what I have seen on many private jets. There is the central bar with lounge seating on either side; this can accommodate up to five passengers on each lounge. In addition to the lounge seating, there is also ample space at the exits which have a standing bar arrangement with a table affixed to the exit which is quite handy when the lounge seating is occupied.

Continue reading Champagne, Caviar, and a Shower at 40,000FT – Emirates A380 First Class Review Part 2

First Boeing 767-2C Takes Flight – First Step Towards the KC-46A

People line up beside the runway at the ever popular "Windsock" at Paine Field on a Rainy Sunday morning.  The 767-2C is just about to begin its maiden flight.

People line up at the ever-popular “Windsock” at Paine Field – the 767-2C is just about to begin its maiden flight

9:40 am on a wet and grey Sunday morning in Seattle saw the first flight of an aircraft with a tumultuous history.  This wasn’t a 787 or the A350, this was a Boeing aircraft that has not had much in the way of press in recent times. However, in the past that was a different story.

The first 767-2C, the prototype that will lead to the beginning of the KC-46 program took to the air for the first time.  With it, over 12 years of history will see the USAF’s new tanker project finally start to fly.

The first 767-2C exits the runway in Everett due to a malfunction in the telemetry control.  It was able to get back to the planned flight departure a few minutes later.

The first 767-2C exits the runway in Everett due to a malfunction in the telemetry control. It was able to get back to the planned flight departure a few minutes later.

 The first flight of the 767-2C is not technically a KC-46 Pegasus tanker, but the first of four aircraft destined for the testing of this unique aircraft.  A hybrid aircraft of sorts,- made up of the fuselage of a 767-200, the wings of a -300ER, and then throw in the cockpit of Boeing’s latest aircraft, the 787, and you have this almost frankensteinish aircraft that will perform, what some think of as, the most unnatural of airborne feets, refueling other aircraft mid-flight.

Boeing’s history, not only with tankers but with this program alone, could fill page after page.  Let’s try and condense it down, shall we?

Continue reading First Boeing 767-2C Takes Flight – First Step Towards the KC-46A

UPDATED: AirAsia Airbus A320 Flight QZ8501 Confirmed Crashed – Wreckage Found

The AirAsia Airbus A320 in question (PK-AXC) seen here in 2010. On December 28, 2014 this plane would be used on AirAsia Flight QZ8501 that is currently missing - Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/brunogeiger/15907589585" target="_blank">Bruno Geiger | Flickr CC</a>

The AirAsia Airbus A320 in question (PK-AXC) seen here in 2010. On December 28, 2014, this plane would be used on AirAsia Flight QZ8501 that has now been confirmed crashed – Photo: Bruno Geiger | Flickr CC

On December 28th, at 6:12 am local time, Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501, traveling from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore, went missing over the Java Sea. On Tuesday the 30th, wreckage of the plane was discovered in the general area where the last known location was, confirming that QZ8501 had crashed.

The aircraft involved was an Airbus A320-216 registered PK-AXC. Contact was lost with the flight as it was climbing to a higher altitude to avoid weather, which is a standard operating procedure.

There were 155 passengers and seven crew. The cause of crash will likely not be known for quite some time still.

This story will be updated as new information is received. Last updated 12/30/2014 6:40am PST. 

Route map of QZ8501 showing it disappearing somewhere over the Java Sea via Jason Rabinowitz on FlightRadar24

Route map of QZ8501 showing it disappearing somewhere over the Java Sea – via Jason Rabinowitz on FlightRadar24

AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Updates

12/30 7:20am PST: The worst has been confirmed, flight AirAsia flight QZ8501 crashed into the Java Sea and officials have found wreckage and the remains of passengers on board. They discovered the wreckage about 100nm southwest of Pangkalan Bun in Borneo. Rescuers will continue to search for bodies, wreckage, and of course the flight data recorder (aka black boxes). The black boxes and parts of the fuselage have technologies so rescuers can more easily discover them.

According to aviation journalist Jason Rabinowitz, the fuselage has Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs), which are used to find debris above water and Underwater Locator Beacons (ULBs), which are located with the boxes, are used when they are underwater. “Every commercial aircraft has multiple location technologies on board,” Rabinowitz explained to AirlineReporter. “ELTs are located in several spots on the aircraft. These transmitters emit a signal that can be received by other aircraft, boats, or even satellites. However, they do not work once submerged in water.”

“Attached to each black box is an ULB. These beacons are activated once in water and emit a ping over a very specific radio frequency. The ULB has a very short range, and must be picked up by boats passing over the area. The battery typically lasts for around 30 days.”

AirAsia has released another statement:

SURABAYA, 30TH DECEMBER 2014 – AirAsia Indonesia regrets to inform that The National Search and Rescue Agency Republic of Indonesia (BASARNAS) today confirmed that the debris found earlier today is indeed from QZ8501, the flight that had lost contact with air traffic control on the morning of 28th. 

The debris of the aircraft was found in the Karimata Strait around 110 nautical miles south west from Pangkalan Bun. The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC. There were 155 passengers on board, with 137 adults, 17 children and 1 infant. Also on board were 2 pilots, 4 cabin crews and one engineer.

At the present time, search and rescue operations are still in progress and further investigation of the debris found at the location is still underway. AirAsia Indonesia employees have been sent to the site and will be fully cooperating with BASARNAS, National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC), and relevant authorities on the investigation.

Sunu Widyatmoko, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Indonesia said: “We are sorry to be here today under these tragic circumstances. We would like to extend our sincere sympathies to the family and friends of those on board QZ8501. Our sympathies also go out to the families of our dear colleagues.”

Tony Fernandes, Group Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia added: “I am absolutely devastated. This is a very difficult moment for all of us at AirAsia as we await further developments of the search and rescue operations but our first priority now is the wellbeing of the family members of those onboard QZ8501.”

Continue reading UPDATED: AirAsia Airbus A320 Flight QZ8501 Confirmed Crashed – Wreckage Found

Flight Review: Taking Qatar Airways’ Airbus A350 Delivery Flight to Doha

Qatar's first Airbus A350 at Toulouse, ready to fly to Doha - Photo: Chris Sloan | AirwaysNews

Qatar’s first Airbus A350 at Toulouse, ready to fly to Doha – Photo: Chris Sloan | AirwaysNews

This story was written by Chris Sloan and originally published on AirwaysNews

At 9:28 PM LT on Tuesday, December 23, Qatar’s first A350 XWB landed in Doha–under the cover of darkness–with approximately 70 Qatar employees, VIP’s and media on-board the delivery flight from Toulouse, France.

On Monday, Airbus handed over the first A350 XWB to launch customer Qatar Airways, and shortly after taking delivery of the aircraft, several executives and more than a hundred members of the media flew on a short demonstration flight over the Mediterranean.

The Qatar A350 Bar. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren / JDL Multimedia

The Qatar Airways’ Airbus A350 bar – Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren | JDL Multimedia

The delivery flight to Doha would be operated as a normal commercial scheduled flight, but just with fewer people then typical. Business Class was full while approximately ten passengers–who were all employees of Qatar–would have the two economy cabins to themselves.

A Business Class Seat on the A350. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren / JDL Multimedia.

A Business Class seat on the Airbus A350 – Photo:  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren | JDL Multimedia

As much as I was anticipating experiencing the Airbus A350 XWB in a true commercial flight, I was equally as curious in putting Qatar’s renowned SkyTrax 5-star rated Business Class, marketed and self-proclaimed as “World’s Best Business Class,” to the test. Burning questions include: Would it live up to all the hype and marketing expectations? Is it truly a First Class product at a Business Class price? Is the Airbus A350XWB cabin truly an “eXtra Wide Body” experience in the same league as its 787 competitor from Everett?

Continue reading Flight Review: Taking Qatar Airways’ Airbus A350 Delivery Flight to Doha on AirwaysNews.com