Archive for November 16th, 2007

Friday Fun – Good Airline Commercials II.

Following last week’s collection of Airline commercials by Szafi, here is the second edition. 

Air France 1. – “Pool”. This is one of my favourite commercials ever, it connects two supposedly totally different things: a pool on a mountain top and air travel. The perfect atmosphere shown in this ad just makes you believe that AF flights are so relaxing… It’s a brilliant idea to connect pool visuals with airliner sounds, and it is also great work that the water and the horizon moves like if the pool-side would be a turning aircraft itself.

Air France 2. – “Lake”. This is the second part of the series, where again total relaxation and water is connected to air travel. And again they use a typical airline in-flight sound in the ad, which makes you feel you’re onboard.

SN Brussels – “It’s A Boy”. This is also a long-time favourite, showing the customer centered, passionate SN Brussels Airlines.

Brussels Airlines – “New Airline is Born”. Another one from Belgium, which is looking very strange at some points, showing the “love” and unification of SN Brussels and Virgin Express, while the new Brussels Airlines is born. Personally I haven’t seen it on TV, I’m not sure it ever made it there actually.

Delta Airlines – Planes and Dolphins – Adiemus. The song made it to more fame after this commercial. I could only find the French version, but I think it was played in many countries around the world around 1994.

by balint01

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Bush Urges Action For Less Delays

US President George Bush had a public White House meeting yesterday with Transportation Secretary Mary Peters and FAA Acting Administrator Bobby Sturgell. The goal of the discussion was finding ways to push airlines towards taking better care of their passengers in the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday season.

US airports in general are crowded, but holiday seasons are almost impossible to handle. US domestic airlines will carry 27 million travellers in the holiday season starting today. Bush offered the opening of “Thanksgiving Express Lanes,” freeing some of the military’s dedicated airspace to commercial airlines along the Eastern seaboard for five days around the Thanksgiving holiday.  Meanwhile, airlines have pledged to make more workers available for passenger check-ins, baggage handling and relief for bumped passengers, as well as additional ticket-dispensing kiosks.

On the long run Bush recommended more serious steps in order to force airlines to reduce delays, such as:

– congestion pricing of airport fees, so in rush hours airlies would pay more, thus they would spread their flight hours more

– higher compensation for passengers pushed off from overbooked flights

Airlines’ first reactions were negative about these long term steps, especially about congestion pricing, but Peters said: she will issue a proposal to require airlines to adopt “legally binding contingency plans for extended tarmac delays”.

Meanwhile FAA has opened a Web site — www.fly.faa.gov  — enabling travelers to check travel delay times at airports.

By Szafi

Etihad Airbus Crashes Into Wall During Testing

Etihad A340 in incident at Toulouse, France

An Airbus A340-600 (the longest aircraft in civil service today) has suffered a very unusual accident on 15NOV2007 at 5 pm at the Airbus Technical Center in Toulouse, France. As the aircraft (MSN 856) was undergoing the final tests before being delivered to Etihad Airways in the coming days, it had to pass an engine test (“engine run-ups”) on the ground. While carrying out these engine tests, due to some yet unknown reason it somehow broke loose and crashed into an anti-noise barrier. According to some pre-liminary reports, the engines were on full throttle as part of the – otherwise routine test – with all breaks applied when the plane got out of control. As seen on the first pictures above the plane looks badly damaged, having the nose being slammed into the wall and the back touching the tarmac.

Etihad A340 in incident at Toulouse, France (C by AP)

The plane was “seriously damaged” according to Airbus, too, who also said that on top of the 9 people onboard (including 7 Etihad employees) 1 on the ground was also injured. Two of the passengers and this another person on the ground were seriously injured, police said. In all 10 people were injured and four people were taken to hospital, three of whom were in serious conditions, they said. According to the first Airbus press release however, “only” 5 people are hurt, of whome 3 are seriously injured.

Eighty firefighters rushed to the scene after the plane slammed nose-first into the barrier and the tail hit the tarmac. “For an unknown reason the aircraft began to roll and it climbed up the embankment in front of it,” said Airbus France spokesman Jacques Rocca. The company said, however, that only five people had been injured. The four-engined aircraft can carry between 380 and 472 passengers depending on the model and the cabin layout.

Airbus expresses its sympathy to the families and friends of the persons concerned.” and so do we here at Airlineworld.

By coincidence this is the second incident involving an A340-600 on the ground within a week, following Iberia’s aircraft overrunning the runway in Quito in rainy conditions.

Update: the first high resolution picture on Airliners.net: Etihad A340 in incident at Toulouse, France (C by Airliners.net)

by balint01

Update 2:

French authorities have launched an investigation into a crash involving an Airbus plane due to be delivered to the United Arab Emirates carrier.

Etihad Airways said none of its staff were involved when the A340-600 crashed into a barrier at Toulouse airport, injuring five people on board.

A spokesman for the airline said those hurt belonged to a firm contracted to test the plane before delivery.

None of them suffered severe injuries. The cause of the crash remains unclear.

The aircraft was scheduled to be delivered next week to Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi base, the airline said.

Source: BBC News

Update 3:

Airbus and French authorities launched an investigation Friday into an accident involving an A340-600 carrying out engine runup tests at the manufacturer’s Saint-Martin site near Toulouse ahead of the aircraft’s scheduled delivery to Etihad Airways. The jet, carrying nine people, apparently crashed through a barrier. Photographs show the badly damaged A340, bearing Etihad livery, nearly split in two, with the destroyed cockpit and nose area of the fuselage mostly severed.

Airbus called the incident “regrettable” and said five people were injured, with three remaining hospitalized as of Friday. One is an employee of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies while the other two work for Airbus, the manufacturer said. It said the aircraft was to be delivered “in the coming days,” adding, “Ground tests including engine runups are a normal procedure on all Airbus aircraft.” The plane was one of two -600s headed to EY before year end. It already operates two of the type.

Source: ATW online

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