Australia Transport Safety Board releases report regarding Qantas Boeing 747 incident in January 2008.

Australia Transportation & Safety Board released on Monday safety report recommendations in regard to in-flight electrical failures involving a Qantas Boeing 747-438 that occurred on January 7,2008. The regular scheduled flight originating in London, England was descending for landing in Bangkok, Thailand when cabin crew noticed water leaking in the forward galley. Soon after electrical systems malfunctions began to affect the plane lighting, navigation, and communication systems. Although the pilot noticed degradation of function for primary flight display and navigation display, major system such as Instrument Landing Systems and the aircraft mechanical and hydraulic systems remained unaffected. The aircraft was able to land safely in Bangkok for the 346 passengers and 19 crew on board.
Initial investigation had concluded that overflowing water from a ice-clogged drain line (due to inoperable drain line heating system) had found its way to the forward area of the aircraft and through a hub housing main electrical generators circuit buses. The water did damage 3 out of 4 alternating current generator buses.
The aircraft manufacturer at the time had issued advice and instructions for the inspection and repair of main equipment centre drip shields for operators of Boeing 747-400.
Almost 3 years after the incident the Australian Transport Safety Board is issuing two safety recommendations and one safety advisory notice while the FAA in the US has issued a notice of proposed rule making considering the implementation of new airworthiness directive for some 747-400 and 747-400D series aircraft for improving protection from water damage. Complete information is available on ATSB website:
http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2008/aair/ao-2008-003.aspx

Lufthansa orders eight new EMBRAER 195 jets.

Embraer 195EMBRAER, the aircraft manufacturing company based in Sao Jose Dos Campos (Brazil) announced on December 9th 2010 that it had signed a $US 338 millions with airline Lufthansa for 8 brand new Embraer 195 jets. The eight new aircraft are set to be delivered starting in 2012 and will complement a fleet of 30 Embraer 190/195 already in service with the airlines. The Lufthansa order brings recognition by the airline that the Embraer products present significant advantages in the regional European market where fierce competition is ongoing. Operating efficiency and product differentiation are hallmarks of the Brazil-built aircraft. The E-195 is the largest model of a family of aircraft consisting of the Embraer 170, 175, 190 and 195.

The E-jet family of aircraft was initiated by the -170 which entered service in 2002. It presents a modern design single-aisle twin jet engines built for mid range travel. Its modern clean sheet design contrasts with newer models of  Airbus 320 and Boeing 737 family which are improved version of long standing aircraft models. The E-195 along with the -190 is a stretched variant of the original -170. As a result it can carries from 106 passengers in 2 class configuration to 122 in single class (against 70/80 for the -170) at distances of 2,593 km (1,400 nmi) to 4,077 km (2,201 nmi) . JetBlue Airline had been the launch customer for the model with an initial 100/100 orders (100 firms and 100 options). Embraer is confident that its state-of-the-art highly efficient regional carrier, leveraging on an integrated fleet family-commonality will be able to sell in units numbering upwards of the 1,100 mark.

Southwest treating Twitter users to $ 1,000 holiday season giftcards.

Southwest Airlines announced today it was providing $ 1,000 gift cards to participants of its new Holiday Season contest. The “12 Days of Luv” contest will last 12 days and will reward the winner of the with $ 1,000 gift card sponsored by Visa. The contest is being staged in Twitter and allows anyone with an account to participate. The rule is simple: each day Southwest Twitter account will announce the theme of the day for which participants will submit a fun holiday photo. The best photo will evidently grant the announced prize to the winner.

Additional information can be found on the company’s web site:

http://www.southwest.com/html/travel-extras/promotions/12daysofluv-contest.html

Air France new Boeing 777-300ER marks 200th airliner received from Boeing.

full throttle take off for 777-300ER 'Heavy"

Air France took delivery of its 200th Boeing aircraft on Wednesday December 8th, 2010 at Everett, Washington. The new aircraft, Boeing 777-300 ER is joining a fleet that has already operated several Boeing jetliner model beginning with the 707 back in 1959. Throughout its very successful relationship with Boeing Air France continuously committed to Boeing for operating the most significant portion of its long haul service. The 707 was followed by the adoption of the Boeing 747-100 in 1970 and followed on to the -200, -300 and -400 series (with 12 still operational), along with Boeing models 727, 737 and 767. This latest delivery of a 777 complements an already significant number of Boeing 777 aircraft operating for the airline with a current total of 61 (with 11 additional deliveries to 2015).

The new plane introduces new business class service.

In line with Air France-KLM new re-branding effort initiated earlier this year, this latest addition to the Air France fleet inaugurates new business class service in its long haul 777 proposition. The new business class product sports a lie-flat seat with 15 inch In Flight Entertainment System screen. This new business class product is configured to accommodate 42 passengers out of the 383 available seats. The airline will deploy the new aircraft for service in Montreal (CANADA) starting January 15th 2011, and also is making plans to introduce it on the Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam) service later that year.

On April 10th the airline made history by inaugurating its new fleet livery. Marking the occasion was the delivery of the 777th Boeing 777 at Everett, Washington. The Boeing 777 has been the backbone of Air France long haul fleet. The airline had already been the launch customer for the 777-300 ER in 2000 and the 777 Freighter model in 2005. Taking the delivery of the 777th Boeing 777 out of the assembly line , Air France chose to introduce a new more sober theme for its new livery as part of its new corporate brand identity.

The 777 program continues strongly as the twin-engine long haul aircraft dominates long range travel. Total orders for the program has passed the bar of 1,100 aircraft and the recent introduction of a freighter model promises tremendous gains for operators in operational efficiency.