Late last night I got word from Jon Ostrower (aka FlightBlogger) that a nicely new painted Boeing 747-8 in British Airways colors was out in the open. So, this morning I headed over to Paine Field (KPAE) to check it out. I found her, but it wasn’t so easy. First she was parked a bit off from the rest of the Boeing 747-8’s and she is not in full British Airways livery. She is painted all white with a blue belly.
I was also able to check out the other Boeing 747-8’s sitting, waiting to take to the sky.
Update: BA has announced it is updating its fleet of Boeing 747-400F with new Boeing 747-8F’s and will be leasing them through Global Supply Systems, which is 49% owned by Atlas Air. On the press release BA states, “It has also been agreed that the new 747-8fs will be delivered in British Airways livery and incorporate the British Airways World Cargo logo.” Flight Global reports that they will be wet-leased for five years by GSS.
It just looks so easy. This video shows the making of a British Airways Boeing 777-300ER from first parts to first flight. This video is one of the best time-lapse one I have seen with stellar music and an amazing plane staring!
Making sure children flying under the care of an airline are not preyed upon is extremely important. So is making sure that a person’s individual rights are not taken away from them and made to feel like a criminal.
Recently, passenger Mirko Fischer took British Airways to court for forcing him to move seats because he was sitting next to a young child.
Fischer originally had the window seat, but switched with his pregnant wife, so she could see out the window (what a gentleman). This changed caused him to be sitting next to a young unaccompanied minor and the flight crew made him change his seat. The airline told him that they ban male passengers from sitting next to children they do not know.
The passenger did not feel this treatment was right and left him feeling, “embarrassed, humiliated and angry.” He took British Airways to court for “loss of damage and injury to his feelings.”
“This policy is branding all men as perverts for no reason,” Fischer said. “They accuse you of being some kind of child molester just because you are sitting next to someone.”
Fischer won his case and was paid $3712.00 in costs and $1288.00 in damages. He didn’t pocket the money however. He donated his payout and $3865.00 of his own money to two different child protection charities.
British Airways is currently reviewing the policy, but still states the rule is not discriminatory.
Parents put their children into care of an airline to make sure they are kept safe during their flight. But is it ok to keep all men away from children because of this? I say no.
If the flight crew has any reason to assume that a passenger is not acting appropriately, then yes, it is their duty to move the child. However, it is not ok to discriminate against a passenger just because of a fear of inappropriate behavior. Would it be ok to not sit a child next to someone of a particular race or religion because they are more likely to molest a child?
I have heard of other airlines having similar policies. The concept of these policies is to keep children safe, which is very important, but not at the expense of discriminating against other passengers.
Logos of different South African airlines. Image made by Kyle Hwang.
GUEST BLOG (By Kyle Hwang, intro by David): From time to time I will have guest bloggers talk about something they specialize in. Recently I was connected with Kyle who is an 18 year old student living in Pretoria, South Africa and attending University of Pretoria studying BSc Actuarial and Financial Mathematics.
He enjoys plane spotting, even though the closest major airport is OR Tambo, which is a 45 minute drive. When he has free time, he loves designing airline liveries and has quite the collection. Here are his thoughts on airlines in South Africa, in his own words:
So you might think that South Africa is a rainbow nation and not ready to host a World Cup. But either way, it has a rather rich and diverse aviation world. Here’s a quick look at the airlines
SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS (SAA):
South African Airways is the national flag carrier of South Africa. SAA is one of six airlines in the world to fly to all continents of the world. Clearly the dominant airline at OR Tambo International Airport, their fortress. SAA has a 4 star Skytrax rating and is also a member of Star Alliance.
Besides the multi coloured Ndizani livery that bought the national Olympic team to Atlanta in 1996, the airline has not had a single special livery except the Star Alliance planes. Oddly enough, SAA is also not the official airline of the FIFA World Cup.
SAA is however pretty infamous on their home turf. Rivals Kulula.com have made SAA pay several anti-competitive fines. SAA was also blamed for the shut down of Nationwide Airlines.
SAA CEO’s have also not had one of the best rides. Andre Viljoen is generally a nuisance in the public’s eye, receiving many letters to retire. Viljoen was however the pioneer of SAA’s Airbus fleet refurbishment program. Khaya Ngqula, Viljoen’s predecessor had to retire because of mismanagement (fraud in my opinion!). He has also been the one taking credit for Viljoen’s Airbus program which proved to be quite successful.
Current CEO Siza Mzimela seems to bring the airline some hope. Former CEO of South African Express (SAA’s strategic partner) may restore the airline to their former glory (SAA won the best Business class seat award in 2004 and 2nd best Business class in 2005).
SOUTH AFRICAN EXPRESS (SAX)
Having revamped their logo recently, SAX is having a much better independent-from-Mother-SAA feel. You can consider SAX as a Southwest/Frontier African equivalent. SAX offers their passengers meal boxes on their domestic flights but here comes the catch- your paying sky rocket fees for a LCC…
SOUTH AFRICAN AIRLINK
The Hummingbirds is what I call them. They literally crashed into a school ground last year and had 3 accidents in a time span of 4 months. With the possibility of the airline closing down, Airlink employees quickly wrote some comments on Facebook hoping that it would save their airline. As a result, more journalists pointed fingers to Airlink’s then rapidly shrinking reputation. Will The Hummingbirds ever be successful? If the day arrives when SAA brings SAX and Airlink back under their wing.
You cannot miss Mango’s B737-800 from the ground. They are mango coloured! Mango is SAA’s response to the flood of low cost carriers (LCC) in South Africa. Mango took SAA’s cabin and put Mango logos all over it, like a real cheap LCC.
Also, their inflight magazine is called “Juice.”
If it wasn’t for their sponsor planes, you could also spot 1time from the ground. The are red, hot red! The first time I flew 1time (1time.aero back then) I flew the Nando’s plane. It was red and decorated with Nando’s chicken catch phrases. (“This plane flies at 30,000 feet and 60,000 chicken feet”). 1time’s planes now consists of the Avis, Pushkin Vodka (not for sale to persons under 18!), the Smiley Plane and Go Zanzibar. “More nice, less price,” is their slogan.
Their liveries include Flying 101 of course, Jetsetter, Camoplane, Zippy plane, da udder plane, THIS WAY UP and 3 World cup celebrating planes sponsored by Europcar.
Kulula was asked by FIFA to remove the “Unofficial National carrier of the You-know-what” titles because for copyright infringements.
What?! An European carrier in the midst of South African unknowns? Comair operates plenty of domestic flights for BA. The only catch is that your are bound to be flying some old 737 that makes a lot of noise.
So hopefully when you watch the soccer on TV you will remember that South Africa also has a pretty rich aviation industry!