Archive for the 'Star Alliance' Category

Deadly Spanair Crash on Madrid Runway

Today at 14:45 local time, a Spanair MD-82 suffered an accident while taking off at Madrid Barajas Airport.

According to the first reports, the left engine caught fire (some reports say there was an explosion) while increasing speed on the ground (approximately 1 km down the runway), and the pilots tried to stop before taking to the sky or reaching the end of the runway. Some reports say the plane actually raised to the skies and then fell back on the ground, to later overrun the runway and break into several parts while catching fire and releasing large plumes of smoke that was visible from a distance around the airport. As seen on the CNN video report there were two plumes of smoke, which indeed would confirm that the plane had broken into at least two parts.

Update (22 august): according to CNN, there was no engine explosion. Read full article here.

Spanair MD-82 (EC-HFP) at Madrid Barajas (by Carl Hendriks on airliners.net)

Spanair MD-82 (EC-HFP) at Madrid Barajas (by Carl Hendriks on airliners.net)

 (The plane carried a Star Alliance livery at the time of the crash, shown on airliners.net.)

173 people were on board flight JK5022 (code-shared by Lufthansa as LH2554 – Lufthansa has confirmed that 7 people checked in to the flight with Lufthansa tickets – 4 of those were from Germany) which was bound to Las Palmas, on the Canary Islands in Spain, only two hours away from the Spanish capital. Of the 162 passengers and 10 crew (6 active flight crew and 4 passive crew members), 140 of them are already confirmed dead (6 hours after the accident) but more are feared for the worst, as according to airport officials, only 26 people were taken to hospital, 19 of those in critical conditions. (UPDATE: 153 people dead and only 19 survived, as of 21 August.) Madrid’s international airport has been closed for a few hours and was partially reopened later this evening. The fire spread to the surrounding area where grass and vegetation also caught on fire, therefore besides the airport fire engines, even helicopters were involved in the firefighting efforts as shown on the image below. According to reports, all fires have been stopped by around 5pm local time.

Putting out fire by Helicopter after the Spanair Crash at Madrid Barajas (August 20, 2008 - c by origo.hu)

Ambulances lining up at Madrid Barajas Airport after the Spanair Crash (20 August, 2008 - c by sky.com)

Ambulances lining up at Madrid Barajas Airport after the Spanair Crash (20 August, 2008 - c by sky.com)

According to the airline, the flight was already more than one hour late, due to a technical issue with the plane that forced the first takeoff attempt to be aborted (!!) as there were failure signals while pulling away from the terminal. The aircraft was inspected and then tried to take-off for the second time, which ended in the catastrophe. The McDonnel-Douglas MD-82 type has suffered other engine fire related incidents before. This particular plane (registration number: EC-HFP) first flew in 1993 for Korean Air and has been operated by Spanair since 1999. It had its last major check in January this year.

Update: here is the list of passengers of the flight JK 5022. It was published by the airline, but as it always happens, it will disappear from the website within a few days, so we copied it here, where hopefully it will remain forver.

Full Passenger List of Spanair flight JK 5022 on 20 August, 2008:

MEDINAVEGA/YAIZA

ACOSTAMENDIOLA/ALFREDO JESUS

ACOSTASIERRA/ALFREDO ALFONSO

DOMINGUEZPEREZ/ISABEL

GONZALEZCABANAS/MARIA LORETO

HERNANDEZGIL/MARCO

MARTINDOMINGUEZ/CRISTIAN

MARTINPEREZ/MANUEL

MENDIOLARODRIGUEZ/GREGORIA

ORTEGA/LEANDRO

VIDALRODRIGUEZ/RAFAEL

AFONSOMARRERO/PEDRO PABLO

AFONSOSOSA/JORGE

AFONSOSOSA/MIGUEL

ALCAZAR/MARIA DE LAS NIEVES

ALCAZARASENSIO/INMACULADA

ALCAZARJIMENEZ/JOSE

ALONSOALONSO/JOSE

ALONSOFILLOY/AMALIA

ALONSOFILLOY/MARIA

ALVARADO/OSCAR GABRIEL

ALVARADO/ROBERTO

ALVARADO/ROBERTO ALEXANDRE

ALVAREZCARRETERO/MARIA

ALVAREZCARRETERO/ROBERTO

ANDRACAGOLZARRI/BEGONIA

ANDRAKAGOLZARRI/ISABEL

ASENSIOCHAVES/MARIA VICTORIA

BACHO/MUKESHMANI

BARBOSARAMIREZ/ELSA

BERNAOLAITURBE/MIGUEL

BETANCORSANCHEZ/VERONICA

BORGE/ESPERANZA

CABALLERO/DAVID

CARPINTERORUIZ/ANGELES

CELISDIBOWSKY/YANINA

CHARILAS/PIERRICK

CHARILAS/ETHAN

CIPRIAN/CARMEN

CONEJO/SARA

CONTRERASBAEZA/MARIA GEMA

CORTESCABRERO/NIEVES

DELARIVA/SERGIO

DELGADOESTEVEZ/LIDIA

DELGADOCORCOBADO/CARLOS

DIAWARA/DEMBA

DIAZGONZALEZ/CLARA

DIAZMENDOZA/MARIA DEL PINO

DIEPALEON/MONICA

DOMIGUEZORTIZ/CRISTINA

DOMINGUEZ/ISAAC + INF

DOMINGUEZMELIAN/ALICIA

DOMINGUEZMELIAN/ARACELI

ERDIL/MUSTAFA

ESTEBANCONTRERAS/LAIA

ESTEVEZGONZALEZ/MARIA LUISA

FALCONDENIZ/AYOZE JAVIER

FERNANDEZ/JULIANA

FERRONOLMEDO/FERNANDO

FILLOYSEGOVIA/AMALIA

FLORESGARCIA/ANA GEMA

FLORESGARCIA/JOSE PABLO

FONTRODRIGUEZ/MARIA JESUS

FORTANNERNOU/MA DEL CARMEN SOFIA

GALLARDO/TAMARA

GALLEGOORTEGA/ANA

GALLEGOORTEGA/CRISTINA

GARCIAHERNANDEZ/CARLOS

GARCIAFERNANDEZ/MARIA RESURRECCION

GARCIAHERNANDEZ/ELENA

GARCIAMARTIN/LAUDENCIO

GARCIADELCARPIOROMERO/JOSE MANUEL

GARCIASANCHEZ/ANTONIO

GARCIA/MARIANO

GOMESSILVA/RONALDO

GOMEZ/CECILIA

GONZALEZDIAZ/PEDROANGEL

GONZALEZFERREIRA/PIL

HERNANDEZ/ABENAUARA

HERNANGOMEZ/PEDRO

HERNANDEZ/ZENAIDA DEL PINO

HERNANDEZ/SIOMARA + INF.

HERNANDEZ TANAUSU

HERNANDEZGUEDES/LUCRECIA

HERNANDEZMARTIN/MARIA TERESA

HERRAEZNOGUERAS/CARLOS

HULT/ANNMARIE

IBANEZSANCHEZ/BETSABE

JULIHENRIQ/AGUSTIN

JULIHENRIQ/MANUEL

LOPEZDUQUE/PILAR

MARQUEZVALLE/PILAR

MARTEL/MANUEL

MARTIN/MONICA

MARTINCONSUEGRAPENA/CRISTINA

MARTINEZCONDE/MERCEDES

MENDOZAMARCIAL/ANGEL JOSE

MOLINORODRIGUEZ/TELESFORO

MORALES/MA TERESA

MORENOPEREZ/RAFAEL

MORILLOPEREZ/PATRICIA

MROTZEK/CLAUDIA

MROTZEK/GERD

MROTZEK/LUCAS

MROTZEK/NIKLAS

MURIANALOPEZ/JUAN

MURIANAMARTINEZ/MERCEDES

NARANJO/JORGE

NARANJO/JORGE

NARANJO/RAQUEL

NODAPENA/FAYNA ELIZABETH

NORIEGAREY/SERGIO

NORIEGAREY/VICTOR

NORIEGARICO/MARIO

NUNEZ/FRANCISCO JAVIER

NUNEZ/MARIA

NUNEZPIRETTI/EUGENIA

NUNEZPIRETTI/JORGE

OJEDAPEREZ/CLAUDIO MANUEL

ORTEGASANCHEZ/M CARMEN

ORTEGADELACRUZ/GABRIEL

OSPINA/GLADYS

PALOMINORIVEROS/LIGIA

PAYERAS/DANIEL

PEREZDEOBANOSLISO/JOSE JOAQUIN

PLACERESPEREZ/INES

PRADOS/BALDOMERO

PRADOS/IGNACIO

PRADOS/JOSE FRANCISCO

PUYECEESAY/MUSTAPHA PAGANNA

PUYEFORTANER/SIRA

RAMIREZGONZALEZ/MARIA LOURDES

RAMIREZRODRIGUEZ/JOSE

REITZSAAVEDRA/ESTHER MARIA

REYESOJEDA/MARIA BEATRIZ

REYMURILLO/MARIA LUISA

RISO/DOMENICO

RIVEROSUAREZ/RAYCO

ROBAINASUAREZ/JOSE VICENTE

RODRIGUEZDAVILA/HONORIO

ROJOROSA/M CARMEN

RONDONUWU/NGUNI TOKA

SANCHEZ/PABLO ENRIQUE

SANCHEZBERNAL/TOMAS

SANCHEZORTIZ/MARIA DEL CARMEN

SANCHEZPEREZ/RUBEN DANIEL

SANGRADOR/JORGE

SANTANACASTILLO/CARMEN ISABEL

SANTANAMATEO/RUBEN

SOSAHERNANDEZ/MARIA DEL CARMEN

STANIMIROVA/ANTOANET

STEFANIDES/ANNA MAIJA

SUAREZESTEVEZ/JAVIER SEBASTIAN

TATEPEREZ/KIM YVONNE

VALLEJOJUNCO/M DEL CARMEN

VALLESMARCOS/FRANCISCO JAVIER

VERANESPEREIRA/ANAM

VILLANUEVAMARTIN/ALEJANDRO

VILLANUEVASANTANA/ALEJANDRO

VILLANUEVASANTANA/DARA

VILLANUEVASANTANA/KEILA

by balint01

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United Airlines Low Approach at Frankfurt

Following last weekend’s lucky but scary Lufthansa landing in strong crosswind, here’s another interesting video, again from Germany, but this time from the busy Frankfurt International Airport, where a retiring United Airlines captain was given the chance to make a low approach and a fly-by on his last flight as a commercial airliner captain, who even “waves goodbye” with his Jumbo Jet. It’s really nice from the ATC (Air Traffic Control) to allow such an event, it was probably one of the least busy periods of the day.

If any of you were on that flight, please share your experiences with the readers of this blog!

[Andreas and Thomas, thanks for the link!]

by balint01

Lufthansa Plane Landing in Strong Crosswind

Over the past weekend, we have experienced some strange weather all around Europe, with really strong winds and huge storms. There was one major incident reported, where a Lufthansa plane flying from München attempted to land in Hamburg, in a really-really strong sidewind. The report mentioned that the wing has touched the runway, but if you take a look at this footage of the actual landing attempt, you’ll see that it was not just a small touch… The plane landed safely at the second try.

The Airports in Münich and Frankfurt were closed for several hours on Saturday as well.

I suppose there were several other tough landings around the airports of Western Europe over the weekend, very similar ones to this, which was recorded earlier, in January this year, at London City Airport, by a Swiss AvroLiner. We can really see how important the landing gears are to such airliners…

[Kata and Gábor, thanks for the links!]

Here is a collection of other crosswind landings.

by balint01

New A380 Route to London

As we reported earlier, Singapore Airlines has already received their second Airbus A380 super-jumbo, and is planning to take the third one by mid March. While the second one currently serves training purposes and completes a few scheduled flights to Hong Kong, in reality she is only waiting for her sister to arrive so they can start to serve the first European route of the A380: London Heathrow directly from Singapore Changi airport.

The first flight with flight number SQ 308 will take off from Singapore at 9:00 am on 18MAR2008 and will arrive in London at 15:05 the same day. Then late afternoon at 18:55 it will head back to the home of Singapore Airlines (SIA) as flight SQ 319 and will arrive to its Asian destination at 15:35 on 19MAR2008. These two flights mark the official launch of the second route served by SIA after Sydney since October 2007 with the first super-jumbo. This will also be the first commercial flight of the A380 involving a European airport.

Following the special first day flights, the schedule will be similar to other flights on similar routes, please see the table below as provided by Singapore Airlines. The first one is about the interim time between 18MAR and 30MAR (the last day of the Winter schedule for the airline industry) the second table shows the schedule for the Summer season.

Scheduled A380 services (Northern Winter 2007/2008)
 
Flight number Commencement date Departure Time Arrival Time
SQ 322 Singapore-London Daily from
18 March 2008
2320 hours 0525 hours
next day
SQ 317 London-Singapore Daily from
19 March 2008
1100 hours 0740 hours
next day

Scheduled A380 services (Northern Summer 2008)
 
Flight number Commencement date Departure Time Arrival Time
SQ 322 Singapore-London Daily from
30 March 2008
2330 hours 0555 hours
next day
SQ 317 London-Singapore Daily from
30 March 2008
1155 hours 0745 hours
next day

According to the airline, those passengers who already have tickets for these flighs, will be able to fly on those flights, even though they originally purchased their flights not knowing that it would be served by the A380. Those, who already have a booking but not yet received a ticket for it, “may need to check if there have been changes to their fares as a result of the aircraft change.” In other words, their fares have probably been increased at least due to higher demand on these flights. If you manage to get on board the inaugural London flights (SQ308/319) on 18 March, you will receive personalised certificates recognising your participation in the milestone event, as well as limited edition Singapore Airlines A380 souvenirs and exclusive premium giveaways.

The introduction of this route flown by the A380 also marks the first case when a passenger will be able to connect from a flight on the A380 to another flight, also flown by the A380 if they travel between London and Sydney with a transfer in Singapore. In this case they will actually have to spend almost 13 hours in Singapore, but it may very well be worth it!

by balint01

Singapore Airlines Takes Delivery of Second Airbus A380

Second Airbus A380 delivered to Singapore Airlines (photo by Singarpore Airlines) 

On 11JAN2008, Singapore Airlines took delivery of its second Airbus A380 super-jumbo. The first one was delivered in front of the press, as it was the first ever A380 to be handed over for regular operations. The second one didn’t get as much attention and such a big ceremony, either, it was delivered and entered service relatively “quiet”, which marks the real entrance into everyday operations of the A380 in my opinion. From now on it is not “the A380”, but it’s one of the airplane types being operated around the world, and most probably – unless there is a problem while engine testing (which we hope will never happen again) – we will start not hearing about A380 deliveries, except for the firsts at each new airline that puts the model into service.

The first aircraft still flies daily between Singapore Changi airport and Sydney. The delivery of the second will allow Singapore Airlines to complement the first aircraft, allowing some rotation of aircraft on the existing Sydney route, and providing opportunities for crew training. The onboard set-up is exactly the same as on the first one (registration number: 9V-SKA) with 471 seats in three classes.

Then, on delivery of the third aircraft in late February, Singapore Airlines will start a daily service between Singapore and London Heathrow.

Singapore Airlines is the first to fly the A380, and is currently still the only airline in the world operating the aircraft. They have firm orders for a further 17 A380s.

by balint01

New Air India Merging Towards Star Alliance

India being the second most populated country in the world once had two big state owned airlines: Air India and Indian Airlines. The merger of the two airlines was approved by Indian state authorities earlier this year at the end of August, when the Ministry of Corporate Affairs issued its final approval to the application, thus establishing the new National Aviation Co. of India Ltd. that will fly under the Air India name.

Air India Logo

The merger of Air India and Indian will provide an integrated international and domestic footprint, which will significantly enhance customer proposition and allow easy entry into a global airline alliance,” the government said. “The merged airline has given them the opportunity to unlock significant synergies on account of optimal utilization of resources through improvement in load factors and yields on commonly serviced routes as well as deployment of ‘freed up’ aircraft capacity on alternate routes.

The merged carrier will operate a fleet of 112 aircraft, including seven new 777s, 10 A320 family aircraft and four 737-800s introduced this year. The parent company will comprise the mainline (Air India), an LCC called Air India Express, Air India Cargo (which is in the process of acquiring 737 and A310 converted freighters and plans to be operating 10 aircraft within the next year), and ground handling and MRO divisions that will “gain increased focus on the merged entity,” the government said. Each will be managed as a separate unit.

Only one week after the approval of the merger, the new Air India’s board voted to join Star Alliance, according to the United News of India news service and The Economic Times. A formal announcement about Air India’s entry into Star Alliance is expected in December 2007, highly-placed Indian civil aviation ministry sources said – according to The Economic Times. The agreement would come into effect early next year, enabling Air India to provide seamless connectivity to its passengers across the networks of all Star Alliance partner airlines. However, no other details were revealed, and neither the airline nor the alliance issued a statement.

With most of the European, American and Far-Eastern carriers being already enrolled in an alliance the markets left without proper alliance coverage include China, India, Russia, the Middle-East and Africa. India will now be Star Alliance territory, while they will soon have two members in Africa (South-African Airways and Egyptair as AirlineWorld reported yesterday) and also two Chinese carriers are bound to join Star in the mid-term. SkyTeam currently seems strong in Russia and also has a Chinese candidate, while oneworld has Dragonair operating in China as an associated member, but on the other hand has the only Middle-East airline alliance member: Royal Jordanian. It will be interesting to see where the big Russian carriers, the big Chinese carriers and the rest of the African and Gulf Region carriers will join in.

by balint01

Star Alliance Is Expanding Again

Star Alliance – EgyptAir agreement

Yesterday evening the officials of Star Alliance and EgyptAir announced that EgyptAir will join Star Allaince within the next 18 months. There are three more airlines waiting for the official signature day: Air China, Shanghai Airlines and Turkish Airlines. Although EgyptAir’s hub is in North Africa, the goal market for Star Alliance is the Middle-East. Alliances in general are weak in the Middle-East. Only oneworld has a member from that region: Royal Jordanian that joined oneworld this year.

Star Alliance

In Cairo a new airport will be opened in 2009. Fraport has been involved in the construction since it started in 2005. The new Terminal 3 will be able to handle 11 million passengers per year and it will also accomodate the new A380. In addition to the new Terminal 3, Cairo Airport is also constructing a fourth runway, developing the Cargo City, constructing a new Air Traffic Control Tower and increasing its parking facilities. Also new service facilities are on the way like, hotel, business and shopping centers.

Egyptair

EgyptAir is the world-renowned national airline of the Egypt, based in the city of Cairo.
In more than 75 years, EgyptAir has experienced extraordinary growth, taken the lead to be the first airline in the Middle East and Africa and the seventh in the world to join IATA and become a treasured brand.
Currently Egyptair operates 48 aircrafts to 60 destinations in 44 Countries through 1,200 weekly flights, carried more than 6.5 million passengers in 2006/2007, to fulfill the travel needs of both business and leisure travel.

EgyptAir B 737

In 2004, EgyptAir demonstrated the scale of its commitment to the highest standards of safety by being the first IOSA certified airline in the Middle East and Africa.

By Szafi

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