Qantas was criticized by an Australian senator and some airline employees last week for its plan to remove life rafts from more than half of its Boeing 737-800 fleet to save fuel. ICAO regulations do not require aircraft flying within 400 nm of land to carry rafts. The airline said it is also pulling the equipment to simplify flight operations.
Announcing a record statutory after-tax loss of A$2.8 billion ($2.6 billion) on August 28, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said that the Australian flag carrier has “come through the worst” as it navigates an aggressive cost-cutting program announced in February 2014.
The first satellite-based precision approach system in the southern hemisphere enabled by Honeywell’s SmartPath entered service last week at Australia’s Sydney Airport. The technology, which is also known as a ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) in the U.S., offers precision guidance to within three feet of the runway centerline.
Sydney Airport has placed into operation a ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) supporting satellite-based precision approaches and landings. The airport is the first in Australia to offer a GBAS landing system, Airservices Australia said.
On Friday, an Indonesian volcano–Sangeang Api–sent plumes of ash as high as 65,000 feet. The ash quickly began drifting southeastward toward the Northern Territories of Australia. Darwin Airport was shut down and airlines Virgin Australia and JetStar canceled a number of flights that could have brought aircraft within the vicinity of those clouds. Authorities expect the ash to dissipate this week as it moves further east, although the volcano is still erupting.
The Qantas Sale Amendment Bill, which serves to repeal part of the Qantas Act and effectively removes restrictions on foreign ownership and stipulations affecting Qantas’ business operations, passed Australia’s Lower House of Federal Parliament on Thursday by a vote of 83 to 53.
Rolls-Royce is “competing hard” with its Trent 900 offering to power the latest batch of 50 Airbus A380s selected by Gulf operator Emirates Airline, according to Trent fleet programs customer marketing head Peter Johnston. To date, the carrier has chosen only GP7200 engines from the General Electric/Pratt & Whitney Engine Alliance joint venture for its previously ordered 90 aircraft.
The Vietnamese air transport market appears poised for rapid growth this year as it continues to channel new domestic and international routes through its secondary airports, Vinh and Nha Trang. Vietnam Airlines launched service from Vinh to Vientiane, Laos, on January 12, making Vinh the fifth Vietnamese airport operating international services. Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Da Nang and Nha Trang Cam Ranh currently offer international routes.
The January 9 decision by Moody’s Investor Service to downgrade the credit rating of Qantas Airways to Ba2 (from Baa3) has prompted fresh calls for the Australian government to provide emergency debt guarantees for the country’s flag carrier.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) released a training video highlighting some near catastrophes that occurred after experienced pilots incorrectly entered takeoff data in the flight management computer aboard large airline aircraft, including a Boeing 747 and 767 and an Airbus A340.
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