My TAM Airlines Airbus A350 in Sao Paulo
Recently, I had the opportunity to fly on my first Airbus A350 and I was excited. It was on TAM Airlines from Miami (MIA) to Sao Paulo (GRU), which is an eight-hour flight — enough time for me to put it to the test. It was also special, because this was the first international commercial flight for the TAM A350 (when it flew to MIA).
Over two and a half days, I would fly about 14,000 miles and stay in Brazil for one night to take this flight. When I did something very similar (minus the sweet A350) back in November 2014, I thought I would never do something like it again. But when invited, there wasn’t a moment of hesitation. The ability to fly on my first A350 — on TAM? Yes please!
My flights that I took over a 2.5 day period – Image: GCMap.com
Going into it, my big question was, “is the A350 better than the Boeing 787 and/or the 777?” In the end, the answer to that question was not so easy.
Line up of planes at FLL – Photo: Maarten Visser | Flickr CC
Although Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport (FLL) is a mere 21 miles north of its huge cousin, Miami International Airport (MIA), itâ€™s worlds apart in its focus and business model. FLL is a hub for low-cost carriers (LCCs) and ultra-low-cost carriers (ULCCs), and funnels passengers to nearby Port Everglades, one of the busiest cruise ship terminals in the world. In 2014, FLL saw almost 25 million passengers use its facilities, led by ULCCs and LCCs Allegiant, JetBlue, Southwest, Virgin America, and Spirit, which is based at FLL.
Trans-Atlantic LCC, Norwegian Air Shuttle, also serves FLL with Boeing 787s. A number of U.S., Canadian, and Latin American airlines also provide non-stop scheduled service to FLL, along with seasonal charter carriers.
â€œWe complement MIA,â€ says Allan Siegel, FLLâ€™s Community Outreach Coordinator. â€œBut our landing fees are lower, so our airlines are saving significant costs. That makes us attractive to the LCCs, and in 2014, LCCs handled 62% of our total traffic.â€ The airportâ€™s traffic has grown steadily, up 25% in 10 years, but that growth led to capacity issues, driven by FLLâ€™s configuration.
Eastern Air Lines’ first 737-800 flies over Miami – Photo: Airways News
This story was originally published by Chris SloanÂ and Luis Linares on AirwaysNews.com
Nearly 24 years after the original Eastern shut down on January 18, 1991, the new Eastern Air Lines welcomed home its first new aircraft on December 19. Â Ex-KenyaÂ AirwaysÂ Boeing 737-800 â€œThe Spirit of Captain Eddie Rickenbacker,â€Â N276EA, arrived from Shannon, Ireland (SNN) via Portsmouth, New Hampshire (PSN) into theÂ airlineâ€™s base at Miami International AirportÂ at 3:13 p.m. local time on Runway 8R to a water cannon salute.
The flight crew outside of EAL’s first 737 in Miami – Photo: AirwaysNews
EXTRA: Flashback Friday; The History of Eastern Air Lines
The fanfare reached far beyond that of a traditional airline launch, particularly in Miami. Miami was the original Easternâ€™s headquarters, and the carrierÂ was the cityâ€™s largest employer from the mid-1970s until itsÂ 1991 shutdown.Â It was evident that the event and ceremony were an emotional, tear-felt occasion for the new team, and especially for the retirees and former employees of the original Eastern.Â Their turnout was quite moving.
A water cannon salute at MIA greets Eastern’s 737 – Photo: AirwaysNews
The airline has 10Â Boeing 737-800s on order, withÂ purchase rights on 10Â 737 MAX 8s. Moreover, the company announced in July 2014 that it had placed an order for 20Â Mitsubishi MRJ90s, with rights forÂ an additional 20 of the regional jets. Eastern starts flying in March 2015 and will initially operate as a charter carrier, with scheduled operations due to begin in the next 12 to 18 months following FAA certification.
Continue readingÂ The New Eastern Air Lines Takes Delivery of First 737 in Miami on AirwaysNews.com
The Miami-based Thales 787 simulators are already operating around the clock, according to Boeing. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Photo: Chris Sloan / Airchive.com
Reported and Photographed from Miami by: Chris Sloan, Airchive.comÂ Editor-in-Chief
Miami is now Boeingâ€™s â€œSim City,â€ but Airchiveâ€™s home base has been an aviation hub dating back to the early days of the industry. Hallowed names like Pan Am, National, Eastern, Glenn Curtis, Rich International, and Air Florida have played pivotal roles in the worldâ€™s aviation industry from South Florida. Â OK, maybe that last name is a bit of a stretch.
Today, Miami boasts Americaâ€™s second-busiest international airport and number one international cargo airport â€“ MIA, American Airlines’ bustling Latin American hub, and the UPS hub of the Americas. Perhaps the most iconic name in aviation, Boeing joined South Floridaâ€™s famed aviation industry in 1997 when they established a joint-venture with Flight Safety, FlightSafety Boeing Training International.
In 2002, Boeing bought out their partner. They join Airbus’ Americas Training Center and the Pan Am Flight Academy (just purchased this week by Japanâ€™s ANA) in the little Miami suburb of Virginia Gardens, now home to one of the largest concentrations of flight simulators and commercial aviation training of any city in the world.
Airport 24/7 Ad in Baggage Claim at MIA. Photo by Brandon Farris / AirlineReporter.com.
Last Friday, AirlineReporter.com was in Miami to cover the season two premiere of Airport 24/7: Miami. This season will air on the Travel Channel and have 13 original episodes beginning Tuesday April 30th at 9/8C with a special 1 hour premiere.
Customs check through produce for contraband. Image from the Travel Chanel / Airchive.com.
Much like the first season, the second starts off with a bang as two aircraft collide and the airport has to quickly come up with a solution.Â The incident causes issues as other aircraft are ready to depart but are unable to push back. The airport must figure out how to perform its investigation but also get the way quickly cleared to prevent more delays.
BONUS: Sneak peak of episode one of Airport 24/7: Miami season 2.
One of the Beagles on Airport 24/7: Miami. Photo by Brandon Farris.
The second episode follows medical crews along after a bus tries to drive under an overpass that is too short, causing the top of the bus to be cut open. Glass and debris is scattered everywhere leaving 35 people scared and some quite injured. Emergency crews try to save them and also keep traffic from backing up and people from missing their flights.
The other main story goes into how customs makes a huge drug bust and talks about how they go on to destroy it following the investigation. While I would love to tell you what happens on these two episodes, you will have to tune in to find out yourself!
BONUS: Sneak peak of episode two of Airport 24/7: Miami season 2.
The cast of Airport 24/7: Miami at the premiere event. Photo from 2C Media.
At the premier event we were lucky enough to get a visit from Customs and Border Patrol where we got to meet the airportsÂ Beagle Brigade that are trained to look for smuggled agriculture products and others animals. They easily stole almost everyoneâ€™s attention after the viewing and quickly became the stars!
Having the show produced by a true AvGeek really shows. Chris Sloan, who also writes for AirlineReporter.com and runs Airchive.com, does a great job working with the others on the show to make the show factual for those who love airlines, but also interesting to those who might not (yes, there are people out there like that).
Watching the premiere of the show in Miami. Photo from Chris Sloan / Airchive.com / 2C Media
The show is fast pace and exhilarating. It is fascinating how it takes you behind the scenes and shows how the airport operates on a daily basis. This season is sure to please AvGeeks and anyone else that has an interest in to how an airport operates.
CHECK OUT ADDITIONAL BEHIND THE SCENE PHOTOS OF AIRPORT 24/7: MIAMI
||This story written by…Brandon Farris, Correspondent. Brandon is an avid aviation geek based in Seattle. He got started in Photography and Reporting back in 2010. He loves to travel where ever he has to to cover the story and try to get the best darn shot possible.@BrandonsBlog | RightStuffPhotography | Flickr