Back in June 2008, I attended an airports conference in New Orleans. It was my first trip back to the Big Easy since Hurricane Katrina. I had some time to kill at the gate, so I took some random shots. Mexico’s Aladia was a low-cost charter carrier that went out of business in October 2008. Below is an Aladia Boeing 757.
Back in November 2007, I took a trip to Chicago O’Hare to take an up-close-and-personal tour of the O’Hare Modernization Project, which included the construction of the Runway 9L/27R. s part of that, I got to go into areas usually not open to the public. In the shot below, we were over near the old cargo area, which was going to be moved to accommodate the new runway. Enjoy!
One of my last duties before leaving Delta Air Lines was working on the events surrounding the retirement of The Spirit of Delta, a Boeing 767 bough by the airline’s employees, retirees, family and friends in 1982. I left before the plane was brought to its final home at the Delta Heritage Museum at the carrier’s headquarters campus in 2006. So I was so excited to see it in the museum during a visit to Atlanta in April 2011. Enjoy!
By David Parker Brown, AirlineReporter.com
It has been a few months since All Nippon Airways (ANA) put the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner into service and there have been mixed reviews on the aircraft’s experience.
The 787 has been heralded by many (including myself) as being a revolutionary aircraft, but it seems that only some see it as a smaller evolutionary change.
When airlines started to switch from prop aircraft to jets in the late 1950’s, it was quite obvious that the change was a revolution for airlines. Passengers could see, feel, and hear the difference: they were quieter, smoother running, and flew the route faster. How the 787 is different is not as obvious as it was from props to jets, but it doesn’t mean they are any less important.
I was lucky enough to have an opportunity to fly on the 787 Dreamer and I can see where people might not realize how different the aircraft is from current airliners. You walk on the plane and notice some fancy lighting and larger windows, but essentially it’s still just an airplane with windows and seats. And that is where the 787 fools you: the revolution comes from things that most people are not able to see.
In the game of airlines, weight equals money. The more an aircraft weighs, the more it costs to fly it around the world. Most previously built airliners are produced by bolting a bunch of aluminum panels onto a heavy frame, but the 787 is constructed using mostly composite materials, which are much lighter. The savings in weight results in—you guessed it—saving money. And saving money allows them to improve their operation.
Another aspect that will probably go unnoticed is the pressurization of the cabin. Current airlines fly with a pressurization equivalent to breathing at 8,000 feet, while the Dreamliner is 6,000. The improved pressure level has been shown to reduce jetlag, making the flying experience that much better – especially on those long flights. The Dreamliner’s ventilation system also allows there to be more humidity in the cabin than other aircraft there by reducing the dryness that most passengers experience during flight.
In my opinion one of the biggest changes is the 787s ability to fly new, long distance routes that do not make economic sense using current airframes like the Airbus A330 and Boeing 767. Japan Airlines (JAL) has already announced a new route between Boston and Tokyo, ANA has announced using the Dreamliner on new flights between Seattle and San Jose to Tokyo and Continental (before the United merger) announced a flight between Houston and Auckland. These are all new routes that were not economically viable before the 787. As a result airlines will continue to offer more direct flights because of this aircraft. Passengers will not have to experience as many layovers, which can last multiple hours for international flights. The Dreamliner allows airlines to offer more point-to-point flights like never before.
At first glance, one might not realize how different the 787 Dreamliner is from current aircraft, but it will change how airlines fly their passengers and how passengers interact with the flying experience. I have no question that the Dreamliner truly is a revolution in the skies and I cannot wait for more to start flying passengers around the globe.
One of the best things about going to a U.S. airport that’s an international gateway is all the heavy metal from foreign flag carriers. Back in April 2008, was flying out of Washington Dulles International Airport (my personal favorite) for a trip to Seoul, South Korea. I arrived early on purpose, because it was around the time when the flag carriers were arriving. I caught a snap of an Ethopian Airlines Boeing 767 sitting at the gate. Enjoy!
Back in July 2008, I was attending an airports conference in Chicago. As part of the conference, we got to take a great tour of Chicago Midway Airport. I saw a lot of the Southwest Airlines fleet there, and I was lucky enough to get a snap of two Boeing 737s, including the one dedicated to the State of Maryland. Enjoy!
I went to Austin, Texas, last month for a data journalism geek unconference. The first night we had dinner at Stubbs BBQ, and my dinner companion was Lauren Young, owner of Little Lamb web design (she’s currently redesigning this site). She started talking about how much fun she was having with Pinterest. For the uninitiated, check out this article in the Wall Street Journal profiling the website.
I love using Pinterest to show off many things, but my favorites are my aviation and travel boards. The first board I created was one with pictures of my beloved Boeing 747, which has 101 followers. My next board was Cool Aircraft Liveries, which has photos of some of the best aircraft paint jobs of the present and past, with 97 followers. I work across the street from Frederick Municipal Airport, so I created Seen At Frederick Airport (FDK).
I am a BIG fan of art deco airline/travel posters, and have them hanging in my home and office. My Art Deco Travel Posters has 92 followers. I created a board made up entirely of the graphics I use for my Strange But True Aviation News column. And then I have boards entitled Lord, I Was Born A Ramblin’ (wo)Man and Places I REALLY Want To See, with 94 followers each.
Tomorrow’s post will be on 10 folks you should be following on Pinterest. Not on Pinterest yet? Drop me an email at AuntBenet AT Gmail DOT com and I’ll get you an invite. Enjoy!
What a week it was! We saw the demise of another European carrier — Malev Hungarian; we saw American Airlines unveil its expected job cuts as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing; and a manufacturing issue forces Boeing to inspect its flagship 787. So let’s go onto the news!
- When I worked at Delta Air Lines, we worked on initiatives designed to avoid a Chapter 11 filing. One of those was a project I spearheaded — media outreach on our effort to have Congress enact pension reform. One of the highest cost legacy carriers faced was the pension obligations to retired workers. We wanted to stretch out our payments — kind of like refinancing a mortgage, and avoid ending those plans, which is what happened with United and US Airways in the 1990s. Those pensions were taken over by the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). Fast forward to last week, where NPR’s Planet Money blog posts about how PBGC Director Josh Gotbaum is urging American Airlines to look for every alternative before it decides to punt the pensions of 130,000 retirees and employees to the federal agency. According to the blog, if American does dump its pensions on PBGC, it will be the largest claim since United got rid of its pensions in 2005.
- Another day, another issue with the Boeing 787. Regular readers know my favorite aircraft of all time is the 747, but the 787 has faced more than its fair share of woes. In the latest issue, “Structural stiffeners were found to be improperly joined to the composite skin in the aft sections of the aircraft, causing parts of the aircraft’s carbon fibre structure to delaminate, confirms the airframer,” reports FlightGlobal.
- The week before last we saw the demise of Spain’s Spanair. Last week, flag carrier Malev Hungarian, which was created in 1946, was the latest to have the plug pulled. Regular aviation watchers knew this was only a matter of time after the European Union ruled that the troubled carrier had to pay back millions in loans given illegally between 2007 and 2010, reports Aviation International News. And when the government refused to offer any further aid, the decision was made to stop flying, on Feb. 3.
- Talk about balls. Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based Spirit Airlines, in protesting new Department of Transportation rules that requires transparency in fares and gives consumers 24 hours to change their mind on a ticket purchase and get a refund, according to USA Today’s Today In The Sky blog. The ultra low-cost carrier said in a statement the “regulation requiring airlines to hold fares for 24 hours after booking without penalty comes with unintended consequences and is costing consumers millions.” So what is Spirit’s solution? Charge passengers a $2 DOT unintended consequence fee. All I can say is — really?
- I know it’s their job, but I have to give a BIG shout out to the reporters at the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram for their blanket coverage of the American Airlines Chapter 11 filing on its SkyTalk blog. Last week alone reporter Andrea Ahles held a reader chat about the latest news, while the newspaper covered the announcement of the layoffs of 13,000 employees from the management and labor side and the reaction of North Texas officials and the Allied Pilots Union about the cuts. Oh — and they also covered the start of new service to Dubai by Emirates.
It was also a banner week for this blog. I had a post in CrankyFlier.com with my five picks on airports doing great things with concessions. I also had a post in the Airline Passenger Experience’s Editor’s Blog on the advent of mini airport hotels. I thank eidtors Brett Snyder and Mary Kirby, respectively, for the exposure.