Posts Tagged ‘777’

V Australia, Virgin Blue’s long-haul offshoot, was supposed to launch its service from Sydney to Los Angeles on December 15th, but due to the strike at Boeing headquarters has forced the launch until February of next year!

The airline has suspended advanced sale of tickets for travel December 15 2008 to February 28th 2009.

The strike is very unfortunate! The way the airlines work is that they use the delivery date for new airplanes to add new flights and sell tickets in advance. Any delay in delivery date means loss of revenue for the airlines. The aircraft manufacturer might have to pay delay costs to the airlines (depends on the contract). This seems to be a big opportunity for Airbus (Airbus had problems with A380 and A350 deliveries which now seem to be on track).  

From Herald Sun –

Virgin Blue
said Boeing had advised it of the delay and said it cannot predict the
duration of the dispute at its Seattle plant and therefore could not
guarantee the delivery date of V Australia’s launch aircraft.
V Australia has three Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in the advanced stage production at the plant.
Blue said it had a revised the V Australia launch date and expects its
offshoot to commence services on February 28, 2009.

V Australia’s Executive GM Scott Swift said – (from here)

In a letter to passengers with tickets booked, V Australia executive GM Scott Swift said the carrier was “very sorry to have to tell you” of the deferred launch.

“Boeing has advised us that it cannot predict the duration of the strike. It is in these circumstances that we feel we have no choice but to delay our V Australia launch and have nominated a revised V Australia launch date of 28 February 2009 to protect the interests of our Guests,” said Swift.

“We are one of a number of airlines impacted by the strike. V Australia has three Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in advanced production at the factory. The strike has no bearing on services operated by Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue or Polynesian Blue,” he said.


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New Zealand’s largest airline, Air New Zealand announced that it  will retrofit winglets to its Boeing 767-300ER. The makeover is supposed to cost about 4 million NZ dollar project but is supposed to save around 6.5 million litres (or 1.6 million gallons) of fuel savings with a payback in 3.5 years (and will continue to pay itself for 20 years). The airline is also considering adding winglets to its Boeing 777-200ER fleet as they become available.

About these winglets –

  • The winglets will be 3.4 meter in height.
  • Will increase performance and cut fuel consumption
  • Faster Take-offs
  • Lesser noise
  • Can increase the resale value of the aircraft
  • This refit will be largest ever installed on a commercial aricraft

And More –
Air New Zealand has also decided to install “new Swedish
dryers in all 42 of its jet aircraft.

They will remove up to 400 kilograms of moisture from the floors
and ceilings of aircraft and reduce fuel costs even further.
The electrically powered dryers will be fitted in the
company’s 777s, 767s, 737s and its Airbus SA A320 aircraft.

A lot of US Airlines have fitted winglets on Boeing 737s (look at any of the Southwest airlines’ airplanes). I think the step by Air New Zealand is worth all the praise. Rather than just saving on the fuel bill, their carbon emmissons will be lower, which means that they are doing a great job for the environment for us, our kids and their kids. 

From One News

It’s the mother of all winglets, designed for a jumbo. And while
the four-metre version never made it into production, Air New
Zealand’s chief pilot Dave Morgan wants them on all the airline’s

“The shape of the winglet reduces the drag, we get more lift,”
says Morgan.

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All over the world – in Europe, Asia*, Americas, Africa and Australia, airlines are struggling against rising fuel costs, trying to find opportunities to cut costs and make more money. But there is one region where fuel is not a concern and money is not an issue, the middle east. Airlines in middle east – Etihad, Qatar Airways, FlyDubai (startup airline by Emirates starting in 2009) and Emirates seem to be dropping billions to buy newer and bigger jets as seen at the Farnborough International Air Show.

The buy list for Etihad Airlines (orders worth $43 billion)

  • 20 Airbus A320
  • 25 Airbus A350 (with options)
  • 10 Airbus 380 (options of 10 more)
  • 35 Boeing 787 Dreamliners
  • 10 Boeing 777

The buy list for FlyDubai (worth $3.78 billion)

  • 54 Boeing 737-800

Though it does raise questions in minds, does these orders have a strategic value or are just crazy ambitions of these fast growing airlines? Does it really make sense?

From Business Week

“Money is clearly no object for these guys. But where exactly are they
heading? You had to wonder when FlyDubai’s top managers, in response to
questions at a Farnborough press conference, said they didn’t know yet
what destinations they would serve or how their $4 billion aircraft
order would be financed. “We are developing plans,” FlyDubai Chief
Executive Ghaith al Ghaith said”

“Etihad’s goals are a bit clearer. As flag carrier for the United Arab
Emirates, it wants to create a global airline hub in Abu Dhabi to
jump-start growth and tourism there – just as neighboring Dubai has
done with its own airline Emirates. But can the region really support
two hubs less than 100 miles apart?”

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Please Note –
These are videos are all tests, and most probably your airlines might divert the flight rather than landing in such winds. Though there are a lot of airline pilots who are capable of such landings!

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First Southwest grounded its 737 (and was fined), then American grounded its MD 80s, then Delta grounded it’s MD 88s and MD 90s, then US Airways’ 757 trouble and now United grounded its 777 ?
Is it a wake up call for FAA or normal business with a little too much media attention?


  • United Airlines grounded the entire fleet of 52 Boeing 777
  • Number of Cancellations – 31
  • Reason – Failed to make required checks of the plane’s fire-suppression system
  • Average Age of United’s 777 (ER) – 9.2 years
  • Fun Stuff – Among grounded is the 777 carrying White House Employees and Press Corps on President Bush’s Eastern Europe Trip
  • United’s Total Fleet Size – 460
  • Headquartered – Chicago, IL, USA

Read more here and here.

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Cathay Pacific 777 Fly-by

Old story but awesome clip 🙂

Some facts about the story though –

  • Aircraft – 777-300ER (Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific)
  • The incident happened on Jan 30th 2008 while taking delivery of the plane
  • Shot by Matt Cawby (Seattle-area plane spotter)
  • It happened near the Boeing Plant at Everett, Washington near Seattle
  • The airplane overflew the runway at just 28 feet, gear up, at around 275 knots
  • Cathay Pacific’s Chairman, Christopher Pratt was on the flight (There were 30 company VIPs on board)
  • The pilot, Capt. Wilkinson — 55 years old (nearing retirement) was fired after the incidence became public
  • The flybys are reportedly not so uncommon.

Above is courtesy of news articles – here and here

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