The A350XWB shows its stuff at the Singapore Airshow – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter
The Singapore Airshow is in full swing right now and although we will have a nice wrap-up story at the end, we wanted to share some photos.
These are pictures of the third Airbus A350 XWB (MSN003) taking its first flight at an airshow like this and according to Jacob Pfleger, who is at the show for AirlineReporter, the most noticeable thing for him was how quiet the plane was. “During its fly-by I was impressed with how quiet it is and in my opinion it’s the quietest jet out there even more so than the Airbus A380 or even Boeing 787,” Pfleger explained via email.
A hybrid Qatar Airways/Airbus livery is painted onto the latest test A350XWB – Photo: Airbus
In Toulouse, France this past week, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker made a visit to inspect the Airbus A350XWB manufacturing line ahead of the first delivery of the type to the airline later this year. As Al Baker inspected the A350 line, along with senior Qatar & Airbus management, Airbus revealed a special livery for their latest aircraft (MSN004).
MSN004 was painted in a hybrid Airbus & Qatar Airlines launch customer livery. Part Qatar Airways at the front, and the standard Airbus livery in the rear, the most noticeable features are the striking Oryx logos, not only on the aircraft body but also on the unique A350 winglets.
The aircraft will soon join the Airbus test fleet, where it will will be used for external noise and lightning tests, avionics development & certification, and training for the first customer pilots & maintenance teams.
A model of an Up 737-800 - Photo: El Al/Up Airlines
Israel is not a large country. Because of this, domestic flying has never been of much importance. There are flights out of both Tel Aviv airports (TLV and SDV) to the resort town of Eilat, but even that is within driving distance. This fact has left Israel’s air travel market as one that focuses on flying to international destinations. Competition is heating up and El Al is planning to go head-on with a lower-cost version called Up.
Israel, though an extremely high-tech and growing economy, also has some market features that make it unique compared to equivalent countries in different climates. There is a gigantic Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) market. There is also a lot of business traffic traveling from Continental Europe on restrictive travel budgets. Realistically, most of the high-yield traffic comes from destinations in Northern Europe, North America, and Asia. British low-cost carrier easyJet is expanding its services to Tel Aviv at a seemingly unending rate. There is even talk of Easyjet competitor RyanAir starting Tel Aviv service this year.
Running an airline is anything but easy. One thing that needs to be completed is re-painting of aircraft – even if there is not a change of livery. Peeling paint doesn’t give passengers a sense of confidence when boarding.
Obviously, airlines want to limit the time an aircraft is taken out of service to be re-painted (every minute down is money lost). This pretty rad time-lapse video shows the re-painting of a Emirates Airline Boeing 777-300. In the video, it looks like a piece of cake, but obviously takes quite a bit of skill and good timing.
This is just one of 21 aircraft that Emirates re-painted in 2013. Expect that number to increase in the coming years – the airline already has about 200 planes in service and another 500 (yes five hundred) on order and/or options.
Hat tip to Victor T for pointing this video out to us!
So, while Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea, or PNG) may not be a holiday treat, it is certainly better than it has ever been since independence. If you want a tropical holiday, you are going to have to leave the ravenous guard dogs and car jackings of Moresby behind.
Being a huge WWII nerd, I figured my best bet was to head out to either Kavieng (on the island of New Ireland) or Kokopo/Rabual on the island of New Britain. Both of these islands were invaded by the Japanese in 1942, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese, however, did not hold on to them long, I will cover that in a later article, because first I have to tell you about the fun one can have at the domestic terminal of Jacksons International Airport.
The airport is chaotic, and there is no air conditioning. To keep machetes and buai out of the terminal there is pre-screening before the sterile area. Check-in opens at least three hours prior to departure to deal with the seemingly-unending lines of people going back from Moresby to their home villages, and the infinite tonnage of excess baggage.