Archive for February, 2008

Friday Fun – Flying Wing Experiment

I have recently found this video on YouTube. It’s not really a joke, more of an interesting experimental flight from more than 10 years ago. I just thought I’d share it with you as it looks kind of funny that a wing can fly on its own! 🙂

by balint01

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Two FedEx Planes Almost Collided

Two FedEx jets got too close to each other on takeoff from Memphis Airport (MEM) because of confusion over flight numbers for the planes.

On Feb. 21, two aircraft flying in the same direction on takeoff came within 200 feet vertically and 3/4 of a mile horizontally to each other, an FAA spokesperson said. Separation should have been at least 1,000 feet vertically and 3 miles horizontally.

The incident began with the pilot of one plane getting on the wrong radio frequency “and accepting instructions intended for another aircraft. The flights had similar numbers – FDX527 (an MD-10 to Boston) and FDX257 (a DC-10 bound for Aguadilla, Puerto Rico (BQN).

The incident, which the FAA classified as serious air traffic control error, remained under investigation.

The air traffic controllers union blamed the incident and other recent mistakes by controllers at Memphis on short staffing and forced overtime.

By Szafi 

Ryanair’s New Booking Engine – Now What?

The media was loud about Ryanair’s new booking engine to be launched this Monday. I even read it in the news that they managed to migrate and the turned their site back on even before deadline.

I tried to test it yesterday evening, but I ran into errors all the time. Then I gave it up and tried it again this morning.

Ryanair website screenshotI was surprised to find out that nothing has changed. I tried to book a flight between Budapest and Glasgow for 2 persons. First I received a price of HUF 7990 for the outbound flight and the same price for the return flight. Then I selected them and on the next page I found 14 990 for both ways because of the 2 persons. Besides that on both ways they showed me taxes and fees and in the end the total cost was HUF 54 160 (1 Eur = 260 HUF). So nothing is true about showing gross prices. (See screenshot for details)

I am wondering if they failed the upgrade and this is still the old version of their online booking engine or if this is the new engine and the managed to slap the whole worldwide media on the face.

There is only one more thing to mention about the whole story. I tried to find a media contact to them. It is not available on their website or anywhere else. Although I am a kind of a fan of Mr O’Leary, I don’t get this. it is absolutely not professional.

By Szafi

Russian Authorities Blocked Lufthansa’s Accounts

According to local media, Russian taxation authorities closed down the accounts of Lufthansa in Russia. The radical step was necessary, because Lufthansa accumulated an EUR 5-7 million tax debt – Russian taxation office said.

They added there was a debate between the company and the authority about the understanding and adaptation of local tax regulations. The amount of money blocked on the accounts of Lufthansa is not known.

There had been conflicts between Lufthansa and Russian authorities earlier as well. Last October Lufthansa’s cargo company (Lufthansa Cargo) was not allowed to fly in to Russian aerospace due to a debate about the usage of aerospace over the country and the authority banned Lufthansa Cargo from entering Russia without any preliminary notification on 28 October 2007.

(Source: dpa) 

 By Szafi

A380 Grounded With Fuel Problems

Singapore Airlines said Tuesday an A380 superjumbo flight was canceled due to a fuel pump defect, the first major technical glitch to ground the world’s largest passenger jet.

The carrier said the fuel pump problem was detected when the plane’s engine was started ahead of departure Monday night on a flight from Singapore to Sydney.

“Airbus and our own engineers have dedicated teams to try to address these issues quickly, but last night’s fuel pump defect took much longer to fix,” Singapore Airlines said in an e-mailed statement to The Associated Press.

The airline said it had to switch to using a Boeing 747-400, which seats fewer people than the Airbus jet, because a replacement of the fuel pump failed to solve the problem. The company’s second A380 could not be used as it was undergoing maintenance.

Source: AP

By Szafi

 

Friday fun – Now With Extra Headroom

The following commercial is really funny. Although we hardly know the airline itself, this commercial will make it a little bit more famous.

Enjoy your weekend!

By Szafi

No Booking At Ryanair For 3 Days

Ryanair is temporarily closing down both its online and call center booking office between 10 pm on 22 February and 11 pm on 25 February. This painful step is necessary, because the airline migrates to a new booking engine that will comply with EU’s regulation to include all taxes and extra fees into the ticket price.

As AirlineWorld wrote about it earlier, the European Commission decided to be very strict about airlines communiating prices that do not include taxes or other extra fees. Although the initiation may sound good for the customer, there are several circumstances that makes it impossible to intorduce such a business model in the aviation industry. See our earlier article about the topic.

According to Ryanair’s spokesperson, the airline has already missed a January 31 deadline, but got an extension of the deadline until the end of February.

I am personally doubtful if Ryanair will be able to make it – not the upgrade, but to include all taxes and extra fares into the prices – because to fully comply with the regulation the low-cost airline will need to change their policy about the extra charge in checked in baggage and so on. Once the new software will be up and running, we will definately test it.

By Szafi 

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