This could be the dramatic picture if airport computer systems go down, but fear not, it's a picture from a previous Farnborough Air Show. Farnborough Air Show 2018 (35 minutes by rail to London) will be held in July. New permanent exhibition halls and conference centre complex is already open on site, and for hire, by all accounts very busy so get in early! Enquiries to 01252 532800

JULIAN BRAY ++44(0)1733 345581

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Contact numbers 01733 345581 OR Trusty Nokia Mobile: 07944 217 476 OFFICE: 01733 345581 and answerphone email:

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SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK (directly wired Ethernet connection on high speed Virginmedia cable) ALSO GLENSOUND ISDN GSGC5 ISDN LOCATION UNITS FOR PROFESSIONAL DRY HIRE Julian Bray provides: Opinion, comment, forward thinking speculation, keynote presentations and workshops for corporate organisations on Travel, Cruise & Aviation: conflict zones, terrorist impact, cybercrime and DoS issues, drone (UAV) issues, safety (black boxes, emergencies), airline operations, aviation finance, political implications, and all forms of incident risk. He operated at board level with several airline and aviation groups, including Alitalia, British Island Airways, British Airways, Galileo , British Aerospace, Skyways, former CEO City firm Leadenhall Assoc. (PR WEEK TOP 150) Founder CNS City News Service. Director NTN Television News (joint co. with ITV Wales TWW) Debretts People 2017 and featured in launch edition of PRWeek Black Book. Investigative Journalist and Broadcaster. After-dinner speaker and presenter. NUJ LIFE MEMBER & FULL EQUITY MEMBER.

Direct links to a selection of television and radio contributions can be found at foot of this page. Scroll down. Join the conversation here or on Twitter at @aviationcomment @julianbray.

A retweet, comment or other publication by any means does not constitute an endorsement. Quoted Content subject to creditline 'Julian Bray' NUJ Life Member and Equity Full Member. During career an active MCIPR, MMC & MBDS Main UK telephone and prime contact number 01733 345581.

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Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 flight 1380 from New York LaGuardia (LGA) to Dallas Lovefield (DAL) made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 flight 1380 from New York LaGuardia (LGA) to Dallas Lovefield (DAL) made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) as the aircraft suffered damage mid-flight.

At least one passenger was fatally injured, according to  reports.

The accident occurred as debris from disintegrating  engine shattered an aircraft window, causing depressurization and fatally injuring a female passenger. The passenger was sucked through the shattered window when the cabin rapidly depressurised, but pulled back in by other passengers.

Damage to the left aircraft engine its fuselage and a window were later confirmed by the Federal Aviation Administration.

During a press conference called by the NTSB it emerged that part of an CFM-56 aero engine had disintegrated and that blade number 13 (one of 24 blades) had broken off at the base or hub and this is probably suggest the NTSC, due to metal fatigue, The cockpit voice recorder had been recovered and is now on the way to Washington Dc for a full download and report by next Monday, a preliminary decoding of the voice traffic revealed that the female first pilot had called for an emergency landing as all types of alarms were sounding and that number one engine had been shut down. The aircraft was continuing on just one functional engine. An emergency landing at the first available airport was requested and the aircraft emergency landed at speed with flaps set at 5 rather than the normal 30 to 40 setting.  There were 144 passengers and 5 crew on board.

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Thursday, 12 April 2018

March report of the IATA Airlines Financial Monitor.



March report of the IATA Airlines Financial Monitor.
Key points:   
  • The final data for Q4 2017 confirms the stabilisation in airline financials in 2H17. The industry-wide EBIT profit margin was a robust 8.7% of revenues in Q4 2017 – effectively unchanged from Q4 2016.
  • The broad-based global equity market sell-off in March also impacted airline shares, although the 2% decline for airlines was less than the market generally (down 2.4%). Looking through the monthly volatility, airline shares have risen by 22% over the past year, easily outpacing the overall equity market (up almost 13%).
  • Oil prices rose in March, recovering some of the ground lost in February. Although jet fuel prices were largely unchanged this month, both oil & jet prices are currently around 30% higher than their level of a year ago.
  • As the 2018 Lunar New Year disruption in the data clears, both passenger and freight demand remains robust. Industry-wide capacity is now growing broadly in line with the pace of demand growth.
  • The premium cabin accounted for 5.3% of total international origin-destination passenger traffic but almost 30% of revenues in January, highlighting the importance of the premium cabin for airline finances.
View full report

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Wednesday, 11 April 2018


....and as for your quip about the 'Fat Controller' tell Rufus and his hound, they can stay in there with you...
The UK Rail Industry Awards (UKRIA) organiser
has apologised after they staged an all too realistic mock terror incident during this year’s ceremony.

The event held at Battersea Evolution was also on the first anniversary of the Westminster Bridge attack. The terror stunt re-enactment featured film stunt persons abseiling down from the ceiling.

The terrified guests who paid substantial fees to book tables were critical of host Rufus Hound's 'off-message potty-mouth laden joke' routine, only capped by women 'wearing provocative leather outfits'....

Simon Rennie, general manager National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR), writing in Rail Technology Magazine: "Re-enacting terrorism allied to foul-mouthed hosting encapsulated violence, bullying, placing individuals under duress and crass gender-stereotyping."

Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail, called it "a deeply upsetting event", whilst several tweets hit social media.

“#UKRIA2018 providing a fake terrorist attack as “entertainment” in year following #LondonBridge & #MENArena tragedies (which saw huge acts of courage & compassion by @BTP & #railstaff) shows (at best) crass insensitivity & an appalling error of judgment by @UKRIAnews & @rtmnews”.

Its reported that both Network Rail and Chiltern Railways returned their awards.

 Roy V Rowlands, MD of UKRIA, issued an apology expressed deep regret about the “disappointing” content in both live acts at the awards.

“The entertainment we chose was a huge disappointment for us and a proportion of our guests. The organising committee and I unreservedly apologise for our poor judgement of the entertainment we chose for the event. These decisions were made by the organising committee alone, of which I chair.

“I am deeply saddened by the foul language and sexist remarks used by the evening’s host ( Rufus Hound) and actors of the live action stunt show. I can assure you that this content was most certainly not in the script and does not reflect the values and opinions of UKRIA, Rail Technology Magazine and its owners and employees of Cognitive Publishing Ltd.

“Formal complaints have been submitted to both the host and the stunt performers expressing our deep concerns. Overlooking the anniversary of the Westminster attacks was a deeply unfortunate oversight on our part and for that we unreservedly apologise. In hindsight, even if the act had been the fun, comedic skit we had requested it still would have been inappropriate.”

He added that he intended to donate to funds that have been set up for the London Westminster Bridge attack, the Manchester Arena attack and the campaigners for Women’s Rights charity the Fawcett Society.

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Source: Radio Algeria
 UPDATE: It is now being reported by aviation expert Julian Bray on FRANCE 24 that local sources are suggesting the number of fatalities has risen to around 250
An Ilyushin I76 military transport plane operated by the Algerian air force has crashed on April 11, 2018 at Boufarik military airport (ICAO: DAAK), near Algiers, capital of Algeria (North Africa) reports the TSA Algeria.
The plane was heading to Bechar according to local sources.
More than 200 military personnel said to be on board. First reports suggest there are few if any survivors.

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Saturday, 7 April 2018

Enter Airbus' new super-transporter the 'Ugly Bug' - Beluga XL ....

Enter Airbus' new super-transporter the 'Ugly Bug' - Beluga XL ....

Airbus is building a new version of the 'Ugly Bug' super-transporter Beluga XL which will eventually replace manufacturer’s current fleet of A300-600ST Belugas in service since 1992. Airbus Beluga XL is set to enter into service in 2019.
The new cargo model is now one of the largest in the world and will have 30% more capacity. The Beluga XL will be 63 meters long with a wingspan of 60 meters and carry more than 50 tons of cargo. They plan to build five Beluga XL models and then over time phase out its current fleet of super-transporters.
Beluga XL is the third generation of Airbus transport aircraft. According to the company, “It was necessary to launch a new apparatus, the current ones arriving at the limit of capacity. Airbus had the choice to produce more current models, or to create a new one, from a more modern aircraft,”
Airbus uses its fleet of giant Beluga models to transport cargo, mainly for their other aircraft’s major components, such as complete wings and sections of fuselage.
The super-transporter carries parts from the factories where they’re built to final assembly lines in Germany, France and China.
"Our program is evolving. Today, the Beluga cannot load two wings of an A350 at the same time. We must send them one by one in the cargo bay, lying at 45 degrees. This doubles our transportation costs,” Bertrand George, director of the Beluga XL told Ouest France.
The sky beasts are essential to Airbus supply chain – flying six days a week, air transport is still less expensive and more flexible than moving the components by road.
When asked, why Airbus uses decentralized manufacturing model, director of aerospace at Cranfield University, Professor Iain Gray told BBC that "Airbus pioneered the system of having centres of excellence around Europe - now around the world. You've got skilled labour, shared investment, and the ability to draw in local expertise - the benefits of a distributed model are well proven."

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Friday, 6 April 2018

IATA Launches New Global Certification Program to Improve Safety and Welfare of Animals Travelling by Air

       IATA Launches New Global Certification Program to Improve Safety and Welfare of Animals Travelling by Air
Geneva - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched a new standardized global certification program to improve the safety and welfare of animals travelling by air.

The Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators for Live Animals Logistics (CEIV Live Animals) provides stakeholders across the air cargo supply chain with the assurance that CEIV Live Animals certified companies are operating to the highest standards in the transport of live animals.

"Last year millions of animals travelled safely and securely by air. Animal owners and shippers rely heavily on airlines to carry their precious cargo. As an industry, we have a duty of care to ensure that standards and best practices are in place around the world to protect the welfare of these animals.

For those shipping live animals the CEIV Live Animals program will provide a reliable quality benchmark. Just as CEIV Pharma helped provide quality standards for temperature sensitive healthcare shipments, the new program extends that expertise to the important field of transporting and handling of animals," said Nick Careen IATA’s Senior Vice President of Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security.

Handling and transporting live animals is challenging. Each type of animal has its specific requirements—not limited to the physical. It is critical to take into consideration the emotional response of the animals when placed in a special-purpose, if unfamiliar, environment by trained professionals.

These were prerequisites for the development of the CEIV Live Animals program which is based on the IATA Live Animals Regulations (LAR), the worldwide standard for transporting animals by air.

The IATA LAR are based on professional and operational input from industry experts, including veterinarians, animal welfare experts as well as government agencies involved in the regulation of animal transportation and non-governmental organizations with an interest in animal transportation.

The CEIV Live Animals program increases the level of competency, operations, quality management and professionalism in the handling and transportation of live animals in the air freight industry while reinforcing training and compliance across the supply chain.

Independent validators conduct training and onsite audits to ensure the animals’ safety and welfare when travelling by air across the world.

Live Pilots

Understanding the complex needs of stakeholders involved in the handling and transportation of animals by air was also key in developing the program.

The City of London’s Heathrow Animal Reception Centre (HARC) and Air Canada Cargo played a key role in helping to pilot the CEIV Live Animal program.

Robert Quest, Assistant Director, Port Health and Public Protection, HARC said, "Last year some 16,000 dogs and cats, 400 horses, 200,000 reptiles, 2,000 birds and 28 million fish travelled through HARC.

"Ensuring the safety and welfare of these animals is our main priority. So partnering with IATA to develop the CEIV Live Animals program was important to us.

We look forward to continuing to work closely with IATA to further enhance the program and support its worldwide adoption by companies across the supply chain in the pursuit of operational excellence in the handling and transport of live animals by air."

Air Canada Cargo, Vice President Tim Strauss said, "Whether it is a family relocating with their pet, a flock of sheep relocating overseas or zoo animals travelling to support conservation efforts, transporting animals by air is a complex and highly planned operation. Ensuring that animals travel in safe, healthy and humane conditions requires coordination across the supply chain. Air Canada Cargo is delighted to be part of the CEIV Live Animals program."

Endangered Species Also Addressed

CEIV Live Animals also focuses on the importance to comply with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) requirements including the CITES Guidelines for the Non-Air Transport of Live Wild Animals and Plants available in the LAR. CITES is the legally-binding agreement with 183 Parties (182 States and the EU), regulating international trade in more than 36,000 species of animals and plants.

"Worldwide international standards and regulations govern the safety and welfare of animals being transport by air. The CEIV Live Animals program helps to ensure that any legitimately traded wildlife adheres to the IATA standards and CITES requirements and we welcome its development.

It is through industry working cooperatively together that can we can most effectively implement these agreed standards and requirements, and also identify and tackle illegal trade in wildlife" said John E Scanlon, the Secretary General of CITES.      
Source: IATA

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Wednesday, 4 April 2018



Air passengers throughout Europe suffered delays, cancellations and disruption after the failure of a new flight plan processing system at European network manager Eurocontrol.
The outage affecting around 50% of the days scheduled flights, major airports on mainland Europe were at a standstill. Eurocontrol says it has since fixed the problem and suggests it posed no safety issues....
The European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation, commonly known as Eurocontrol, said in a press release on April 3, 2018, that “there has been a failure of the Enhanced Tactical Flow Management System (ETFMS), with also an impact on the associated flight plan system.”
Pilots and air-traffic controllers across Europe were reportedly told: “All attempts to reactivate ETFMS proved unsuccessful.”
The agency, which coordinates air traffic for 41 member states, also said that the issue with the system had been identified and assured that contingency procedures were put in place.
However, the measures would have “the effect of reducing the capacity of the European network by approximately 10%”. This is because when the ETFMS fails, the rest of the system compensates by reducing the number of planes per airport allowed to take off to just 10 per hour, rolling out the restriction in stages.
The ETFMS system is central to the flow management function of Eurocontrol and manages around 30,000 flights a day. It is designed to match traffic demand from airlines with the available capacity of a certain air traffic control (ATC) sector. When airlines file flight plans, the system calculates a pathway according to data on available airspace and allocates slots accordingly, The Independent explains.
Due to the outage, flight plans filed by airlines before 10:26 UTC were lost, leading to restrictions on the number of departures at airports across Europe. “Today 29,500 flights were expected in the European network. Approximately half of those could have some delay as a result of the system outage,” Eurocontrol said in the statement.
The UK's busiest airport, Heathrow (LHR), said there was no impact on its operations, meanwhile, around 59% of departing flights at Gatwick airport (LGW) were delayed between 3pm and 4pm local time, according to data company FlightStats.
Airports including Amsterdam’s Schiphol (AMS), Brussels (BRU), Prague (PRG), Copenhagen (CPH) and Helsinki (HEL) also warned travellers that delays could occur. Travelers in France were hit particularly hard since the country is experiencing strikes by Air France employees and other unions.
Eurocontrol announced the resumption of operations later in the day on April 3, 2018. “As of 18:00 UTC, following the resumption of the ETFMS, the EUROCONTROL Network Manager has restarted normal flow management operations… after extensive internal testing and in coordination with airports, airlines and air traffic control across Europe and beyond,” the agency said in a statement.
We can confirm that all our systems are now up and running normally. We are doing a full analysis of what happened so that lessons can be learned. Our sincere apologies to all those affected.
— EUROCONTROL (@eurocontrol) April 4, 2018
According to Eurocontrol, the ETFMS outage did not affect air traffic control (ATC) and there were no safety implications. The agency also claims that in over 20 years of operation, the system has only had one other outage which occurred in 2001.
We've helpfully suggested next time they pull the plug out of the wall with 5 minutes and switch the system back on ... 

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Saturday, 31 March 2018


Courtesy: Essex Fire & Rescue Service

Julian Bray Aviation Security Expert writes: Yet again the focus is on Stansted, and for all the wrong reasons. This time an airport car park extra-long bendy shuttle bus burst into flames, alarmingly just yards from the entrance to the one and only air terminal building, and on Good Friday one of the busiest days/ weekends of the year....

Brad Miller the Chief Operating Officer jumped to the defence of the airport staff, but in reality Stansted has a fraction of the floating customer care support staff directly employed by the airport that Heathrow has. It chiefly relies on the - at arms-length -  goodwill of airline employed or airline sub contracted ground crew.

Clearly this time the major emergency plan was severely compromised - and for good measure recorded by television for posterity - as passengers still with their luggage (why?) fled from the enclosed smoke filled terminal breaching security areas to escape the acrid smoke caused by the fire from one overworked and decidedly ancient shuttle bus. I know as I've experienced them...

Fire sale?
Transport for London phased out their bendy buses as they kept breaking down and prone to fires...
Could it be the Stansted bus company acquired some of these ex TFL bendy-bus disposals at a knock-down price ???

The problem is compounded as Stansted is supposed to be the UK's top security airport - hijacked and intercept suspect aircraft are sent/forced down here for police and military inspection, but time and time again we hear of passenger handling problems. Last time it was the raft of Ryanair cancellations and backing up of flights unleashing opposing sets of passengers all trying to get to opposite ends of the same corridor.

At the time CEO Brad Miller said they would learn lessons, so perhaps the next review needs to be much wider and some significant money spent on it? The airport is owned by the Manchester Airport Group and when we last suggested Manchester might like to send some experts in to sort out Stansted, you would have thought the roof had fallen in, there were howls of derision from Stansted press officers. This time, well over a 100 flights diverted or cancelled and thousands of passengers of all ages, subjected to possible smoke inhalation from a burning bus that could not be moved.

I guarantee if this had happened in any other major airport that burning wreck would have been contained and moved much, much sooner. Some other airports employ heat/cctv activated 'halo' drenching systems that would automatically douse any flaming object in high security risk areas.  

The smart money might suggest, why was the defective shuttle bus routinely allowed so near a high density enclosed terminal building? Simply the airport in volume terms has grown but some legacy facilities are still back in the stone age, not fit for current and future volumes of expected traffic and increased passenger flows. Clearly to reroute the bus lanes would temporarily interrupt lucrative revenue and passenger flows from traditional long established parking areas.

Accepted hindsight is a great thing, but it cannot be beyond the wit of wo/man to install a weather covered travellator (moving walkway) so buses can safely offload and load at a 'satellite' station? Well away from the major security risk that is Stansteds only air terminal, hemmed in on all sided by motorised highly combustible equipment...

As before there will be an enquiry, but once the dust has settled, and a few tweaks made, Stansted will relapse into the cash cow it has now become. Clearly some may opine the current head of public safety needs an urgent career change? Possibly a refresher course? Even a quick move into a less stressful occupation? possibly ensuring the sand is at the correct level in red painted fire buckets and the hand operated stirrup water pumps are all lined up like soldiers...who knows? 

What will it take for Stansted to take ownership; of this appalling lapse of security and basic operations? Will, the bus company have its maintenance records checked? Why did the bus burst into flames? Why were passengers decanted airside? Why was no clearly defined emergency plan in place? If it was, how did they allow all (or was it some?) passengers to take their luggage into a secure airside area? Should the cases not have been dumped passenger side on security grounds?

Then its a matter of catch up, airline staff tasked with rebooking or dealing with stressed out passengers. Clearly Stansted is chronically understaffed (they will dispute this, but people cost money and that affects profitability). Hopefully Mr Miller will share with us the answers, before the airport slips down the favoured list, and airlines come to a like conclusion...

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Tuesday, 27 March 2018

March 2018 Current AAIB field investigations

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Monday, 26 March 2018


Airbus has by all accounts, lost a contest race with Boeing to sell wide-body jets to American Airlines [AA]. Boeing is now set to supply the 787 Dreamliner to the U.S. carrier, beating Airbus offer of A330neos.

Discussions with AA on the re-engined model of the Airbus  smallest wide-body jet have now ended, according to Bloomberg on March 23, 2018, suggesting it was unwilling to match the price Boeing offered.

“In this case, the competition simply priced their aircraft lower than we were willing to offer,” Airbus said in a statement. “We look forward to the next opportunity to compete with what we know is a superior product.”

AA meanwhile maintains it has not made any final decisions on the aircraft order. “We are continuing to look at our wide-body options and are focused on making the right decision for American,” the airline’s spokesman stated.

General Electric, jet engines are expected to power the Boeing aircraft, beating proposals from rival Rolls-Royce, Reuters reports.

The U.S. carrier said in January 2018, it was considering the A330-900neo and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner as a possible substitute for a long forsaken deal for 22 of A350-900 twin-aisle aircraft.

The A350s themselves were to be a replacement for the carrier’s Boeing 767s and 777s that it is phasing out.

American inherited the A350 deal from U.S. Airways when it merged with the smaller carrier in 2013, but had put off delivery twice already, in 2016 and 2017.

In recent years, American has renewed its fleet with hundreds of new aircraft. According to industry sources, the airline is currently looking for about 25-30 wide-body jets, which would make a deal with Boeing potentially worth around $7-8.5 billion, Reuters writes.

Second-guessing the A330neo
Airbus updated its A330 series in 2014 with new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, but after an initial foray, the model has been struggling in the marketplace. The recently appointed Airbus sales chief Eric Schulz has made boosting sales of the aircraft a top priority for 2018, Reuters writes.

The latest setback comes weeks after Hawaiian Airlines dropped an order for six Airbus A330-800neos in favour of ten Boeing‘s 787, leaving that particular long-haul A330neo model with no customers.

Airbus is reportedly even considering a cargo model of the A330neo, which would also compete with Boeing – the leader in the global air cargo industry – and its popular 767 freighter.

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Friday, 23 March 2018


Hawker Hunter Jet

The Crown Prosecution Service [CPS] has announced its charging decision following the deaths of 11 people at the Shoreham Air Show.

The reviewing lawyer, Simon Ringrose, CPS Special Crime Division, said: “The Crown Prosecution Service has considered a full file of evidence received from Sussex Police in relation to the deaths of 11 men at the Shoreham Air Show in 2015.

“At approximately 1.20pm on 22 August 2015, a Hawker Hunter aircraft piloted by Andrew Hill attempted to perform a loop manoeuvre as part of an aerobatic display. The aircraft failed to complete the manoeuvre and crashed onto the A27 dual carriageway. Eleven men who were either in vehicles on the carriageway or standing by the roadside were killed in the incident. Mr Hill was thrown clear of the aircraft and, although seriously injured, he survived.

“Sussex Police conducted a thorough and detailed investigation into the incident and in November 2017 submitted a full file of evidence to the CPS in relation to the actions of the pilot, Andrew Hill. In accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, I have considered whether there is sufficient evidence to charge Mr Hill with any offence and if so whether it is in the public interest to do so.

“Following a careful review of the evidence I have found there is sufficient evidence to charge Andrew Hill with the manslaughter by gross negligence of the 11 men who died. I have also authorised a further charge against Mr Hill of endangering an aircraft, contrary to Article 137 of the Air Navigation Order 2009.

“Mr Hill will be formally charged with the offences and will appear before the courts in due course.

“I would like to remind all concerned that criminal proceedings have now commenced and the defendant has a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

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AIRBUS A330neo being targeted by Amazon and UPS as the next giant leap in air cargo short transits

Rumor has it that Airbus might cooperate with UPS and Amazon for the freighter version of A330neo

According to industry gossip -from France, it is thought that both Amazon and UPS are set on including the Airbus A330neo in their cargo derived freighter fleets.

The thinking first leaked on Bloomberg, suggests that a full freighter with fuel efficient state-of-the-art engines could rapidly kickstart A330neo production and dynamically spark new competition with Boeing.

So far uptake of the A330neo has been disappointing with just 200 orders since its launch. Industry sources suggest Both Amazon and UPS proposed the idea of ​​producing a freighter version of the A330-900 with more cargo capacity for shorter deployments.

The addition of a freight model could boost the demand for the type, which has just received 200 orders since its launch. Understandably Airbus and Amazon would not be drawn on the issue. But do not be surprised if one liveried, possibly in UPS colours makes it debut at the enlarged Farnborough Airshow this June ..... 
 UPS routinely taps into the market in order to acquire both new and used freighters, but they unconvincingly described its involvement in the launch of an A330neo freighter programme as "speculation."  Clearly the dynamics of air cargo consignments has changed, and  rebounded sharply in 2017 from a ten-year downturn, according to IATA published figures.  Newish entrants such as Amazon are clearly pushing what is possible.  They are rapidly building an air cargo freighter fleet of 40 Boeing 767s in order to be more independent of rival service providers.
Boeing currently dominates the freighter market. Airbus' freighter A330-200F has received only 42 orders so far. The aircraft can carry 65 to 70 tons of cargo.

Source: Bloomberg, UPS, Aerotime,

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Wednesday, 21 March 2018


Christmas is a little late this year,...but what lavish presents..
Budget carrier Ryanair has announced (March 20th 2018) that the Dublin based airline has entered into an agreement with the 'rescued' Air Berlin subsidiary operation  Laudamotion to acquire up to 75% of the new airline.
Julian Bray, the aviation expert comments: This is a smart move by Ryanair and no doubt codeshare and cross-marketing feeder operations will be on the cards, for a whole new Austro/German market. Coupled with Mr O'Learys 'be nice' campaign and the charismatic chairmanship of Niki Lauda, marketing teams must have thought they have died and gone to heaven.  Reaction from the Lufthansa camp isn't recorded but clearly a major upset for Lufthansa and other EU vested airlines is on the cards; as the Shamrock clad Laudamotion with a Ryanair topped up warchest and new aircraft will certainly target key Lufthansa routes with some spectacular air fare price cuts ...
Under the agreement, the Irish Ryanair will initially acquire a 24.9% stake in Laudamotion, this rises to 75% as soon as possible subject to EU Competition approval.
Niki, rebranded as Laudamotion, since it was bought back by founder and former F1 Motor racing Champion Niki Lauda, was a subsidiary of the insolvent Air Berlin.
Niki was acquired by the Niki Lauda after an initial deal for the airline with the liquidators of Air Berlin, fell through with the owners of the British Airways brand, Spanish based International Airlines Group (IAG).  The insolvency proceedings for the airline were re-opened in Austria in mid-January enabling Mr Lauda to act.
Under the agreement with Ryanair, Lauda will chair the Board of Laudamotion.  Ryanair will provide financial and management support to Laudamotion as well as 6 wet-lease aircraft for the 2018 season to enable Laudamotion to complete an extensive 21 aircraft flying programme.
The cost of the airline deal is estimated to be under €50 million; however the Irish carrier plans to provide additional €50 million for the first year and operating costs.
This is clearly a significant acquisition for Ryanair which has not bought an airline since 2003.
The deal will also be welcomed by Airbus, since Ryanair, which has exclusively operated Boeing aircraft for the past 15 years stated it will now support an Airbus fleet. 
“The Laudamotion operation will support a fleet of Airbus aircraft which is something we have hoped to develop within the Ryanair Group for some years,” said Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary.
Additionally, Mr O’Leary noted the increased competition for Lufthansa, which currently dominates the German  market ...
“With access to the Ryanair fleet and financial resources, Laudamotion will now grow more rapidly, as it seeks to compete in a market which is dominated by Lufthansa’s high airfares with its Swiss and Austrian subsidiaries.
This Laudamotion partnership is good news for Austrian and German consumers/visitors who can now look forward to real competition, more choice and lower fares” commented Mr O'Leary.
Source: CNS, BBC, Aerotime, Ryanair

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Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Red Arrows Jet incident kills engineer at RAF Valley Anglesey

Royal Air Force via TWITTER 

@RoyalAirForce    Following the aircraft incident at RAF Valley earlier this afternoon, if you were an eyewitness, please send any photographs of the incident to Any images may help with an investigation. Please DO NOT share these online. Please be sensitive, thank you.

Tonight North Wales Police are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the Red Arrows Hawk jet aircraft  (BAe Hawk T Mk1) which crashed on Anglesey this afternoon to contact them.

Meanwhile from London, Aviation Expert Julian Bray will considering the latest updates live on LBC News Radio from 10:30pm tonight (Tuesday 20th March 2018).

The Ministry of Defence later confirmed that an engineer with  the Red Arrows aerobatic team died in an air crash involving one of the aerobatic team jets at RAF Valley today. The pilot managed to eject, but according to local reports, sustained serious injuries and is now in hospital.

The MOD released a statement: “It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of an engineer from the RAF Aerobatics Team (The Red Arrows) in a tragic accident today.

“The serviceman’s family have been informed and have asked for a period of grace before further details are released.

“The pilot of the aircraft survived the incident and is currently receiving medical care.”

Local reports suggest the Red Arrows jet aircraft was flying from RAF Valley to their base at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire when it crashed.

North Wales Police were alerted at 1.50pm. Police together with regional emergency and rescue services responded as part of a well rehearsed a major incident protocol targeted at the RAF Valley base.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson commented they were called shortly before 1.30pm this afternoon and sent emergency ambulances and scrambled a Wales Air Ambulance helicopter to the scene.

Police Chief Inspector Simon Barrasford  who is leading the initial response for North Wales Police said:  “The aircraft involved, a Red Arrows Hawk, crewed by two RAF personnel was reported to have crashed. Sadly I can confirm that one of the two personnel has died whilst his colleague is now being treated in hospital. Our thoughts are with both men’s families at this very difficult time. Until then it would be inappropriate to add anything further. The Coroner for north west Wales will also be informed.”

A formal air accident investigation led by the Air Accident Investigation Branch has already started with the aim of  establishing the cause of the crash.

Chief Inspector Simon Barrasford added: “North Wales Police is appealing for help from the public and local communities and so I’d ask if anyone sighted the Hawk aircraft this afternoon to contact North Wales Police via the live web chat or by phoning 101.”

+++ The BAe Hawk T Mk1 is expected to remain in service until 2030 although  replaced as the RAFs advanced fast jet pilot trainer by the new Hawk T Mk2. Like the Mk2, the Mk1 is a fully aerobatic, low-wing, transonic, two-seat training aircraft that is still used in a number of roles for the RAF.

The Mk1 is in use with the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, based at RAF Scampton, in addition to the flight test and evaluation unit at MoD Boscombe Down.

100 Squadron, based at RAF Leeming, fly the Hawk T Mk1 in the ‘aggressor’ role, simulating enemy forces and providing essential training to the RAF front-line units.

In addition to this, the Sqn. carries out close air support training to British Army units, defence engagement tasks and participates in numerous overseas exercises throughout the year.


Roles of the Red Arrows

Representing and showcasing the skills and values of the Royal Air Force

The Red Arrows are part of the wider Royal Air Force, the team is a great reminder of the dedication and talented people found across the Service.

Members of the Squadron have served on operational units, whether they be fast jet or helicopters, strategic transport or intelligence-gathering aircraft.

Their various backgrounds hint at the wide range of tasks the Royal Air Force performs today and is prepared for.  For example, the RAF pilots have completed operational tours in Afghanistan and Libya, or been part of the Quick Reaction Alert in the UK and Falkland Islands, protecting our skies.
Supporting British industry.

Being renowned both at home and overseas, the team and the excellence it invokes reinforces the reputation of the UK and the country’s people and equipment.

The Red Arrows fly BAE Systems’ Hawk T1, which is powered by a Rolls-Royce engine, and this technical expertise is crucial to the team’s success.

Assisting in defence diplomacy

Displays by the Red Arrows are one of the ways the UK strengthens its relationships abroad, benefitting defence and prosperity.

The team provides the UK, as the Royal Air Force does, with a great ability and option to promote and support the country’s interests – diplomatically, industrially and militarily.

The Red Arrows by the end of the 2016 season, displayed in 57 countries worldwide. The 2016 Asia-Pacific and Middle East Tour is an example of how the Red Arrows represent the UK far away from home.

The nine-week, 20,000-mile deployment visited 17 countries and drew a global audience of a billion people - seeing the team display in China for the first time.

Aiding recruitment for the UK Armed Forces

The team are members of the Armed Forces and are proud to represent the UK. Many of the pilots and other members of the Squadron joined the Royal Air Force as a direct result of seeing the Red Arrows perform as children.

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