29 August 2014 – copyright David Eyre
Following hot on the heels of Qantas Group’s loss announcement yesterday, Virgin Australia has also announced a loss.
- accelerating the delivery of Boeing 737 Max aircraft to 2018 instead of 2019, to benefit from fuel efficiency
- two oldest leased A330s being withdrawn – VH-XFA and VH-XFB (VH-XFA has already been withdrawn)
- selling 35% stake in frequent flyer program
- includes a $46 million loss from its 60% stake in Tigerair Australia, which will not be profitable until the 2017 financial year.
- Skywest is now fully integrated into Virgin Australia and its resources industry FIFO charter business has increased revenue contribution by 30% in the 2013/14 financial year.
28 August 2014
- Domestic and international operations to be split
- Airbus A320: Five aircraft on order for Jetstar have been sold. Orders for 21 A320ceos have been converted to orders for the more-fuel-efficient A320neos, with delivery delayed by four years. This means that Jetstar (Qantas Group) has orders for a total of 99 A320neos;
- Airbus A330-200: Two leased aircraft to leave the fleet when their leases expire in late 2015 (believed to be VH-EBH and VH-EBI);
- Boeing 737-800: Two to be disposed of – one from Qantas Domestic (believed to be VH-VYI, which is already on Boeing’s website as available for lease), plus one from Qantas JetConnect;
- Boeing 767-300ER: Fleet to be withdrawn earlier than planned – all ten remaining 767s to go by the end of 2014;
- Boeing 787 Dreamliner: The first of 50 Boeing 787 options and purchase rights have been deferred again, from 2016 to 2017;
- $2.6 billion non-cash writedown of the value of the Qantas International fleet;
- $428 million in redundancy and restructuring expenses;
- $400 million in non-cash costs related to early aircraft retirements;
- Underlying loss before tax of $646 million, excluding the above one-off costs and writedowns;
- 2,500 staff have been made redundant out of the 5,000 previously announced
Many aviation industry analysts, Qantas staff and independent Senator Nick Xenophon are calling for the Qantas Chairman Leigh Clifford and CEO Alan Joyce to step down:
22 August 2014.
Crown Resorts has announced that it is to acquire three Bombardier Global Express XRS aircraft at a cost of $100 million, to replace its current fleet of three Gulfstream jets.
Crown’s existing fleet of Gulfstream aircraft were acquired between 1995 and 2010:
- VH-CCC Gulfstream G-V (MSN 581) (built in 1999) (an aircraft previously used for CIA rendition flights);
- VH-CGF Glufstream G-IV (MSN 1083) (built in 1988)
- VH-CRQ Gulfstream G-V (MSN 603) (built in 2000)
Crown Resorts is one of Australia’s largest casino and entertainment groups. The jets are used to transport the biggest gamblers – known as ‘high rollers’ or ‘whales’ to James Packer’s casino resorts in Melbourne, Perth, Macau and London. Crown will also build a casino in Sydney and possibly Las Vegas.
The new Global Express XRS aircraft are configured with 15 seats and nine sleeping berths and passengers will be receive a five-star food and drink service.
1 August 2014 – Copyright David Eyre
Network Aviation retired the last of its Embraer 120 Brasilia aircraft on 31 July 2014.
VH-NHY flew its final revenue service from Leonora to Perth, followed by VH-NHC returning from Degrussa.
Their first Brasilia, VH-NIF (later registered VH-NHY) entered service with Network in early 2000. Their fleet reached a maximum of seven Brasilias.
|Reg when in service||MSN||First flight||Ex registrations||Date and registration when delivered to Perth||Date registered to Network Aviation||Last service||Fate|
|VH-NHA||120269||Dec 1991||PT-SUP, N209SW SkyWest (USA).||2 Jan 2005 as N209SW||11 Jan 2005||28 July 2014Mount Magnet-Perth||Stored at Perth|
|VH-NHC (prev op as VH-TLZ)||120152||Oct 1989||PT-SPR, N152CA Comair, VH-TLZ Flight West.||22 Jul 2003 as VH-TLZ||Jun 2003 (leased);5 Apr 2006 as VH-NHC (leased).8 Oct 2010 (registered to Network).||31 July 2014Degrussa-Perth**Last Brasilia service for Network||Stored at Perth|
|VH-NHY (prev op as VH-NIF)||120054||11 Nov 1987||PT-SJX, N274UE Westair Commuter / United Express, VH-FNQ Flight West, VH-NIF,||10 Feb 2000 as VH-NIF||17 Jan 2000 as VH-NIF;19 Aug 2011 as VH-NHY.||31 July 2014Leonora-Perth||Stored at Perth|
|VH-NHZ||120034||18 Dec 1986||PT-SJD, N186SW SkyWest (USA).||18 Feb 2006 as N186SW||8 Mar 2006||8 July 2013Paraburdoo-Perth||Stored at Perth. Being stripped of spares in Network Aviation hangar.|
|VH-TFX||120079||1 May 1988||PT-SKW, N277UE Westair Commuter / United Express, VH-XFH Flight West, DQ-MUM Air Fiji, VH-RPA Regional Pacific.||20 Mar 2011 as VH-RPA||11 Nov 2010 as VH-RPA (leased);18 Apr 2011 as VH-TFX.||30 Jan 2014Laverton – Perth||2 June 2014: Flown Perth – Leinster – Darwin. Sold to Airnorth and reregistered VH-ANQ.|
|VH-TWF||120186||May 1990||PT-SQY, N197SW SkyWest (USA).||28 Mar 2006 as VH-TWF||27 Feb 2006||Late 2013||3 Feb 2014: Test flight from Perth.
2 June 2014: Flown Perth to Alice Springs.Stored at Alice Springs.
11 Aug 2014: Flown Alice Springs-Darwin.
15 August 2014: Flown Darwin-Denpasar (Bali).
|VH-TWZ||120266||Oct 1991||PT-SUM, N207SW SkyWest (USA).||7 Jan 2005 as N207SW||1 Feb 2005||Late 2013||11 June 2014: Flown Perth to Adelaide.Stored at Adelaide.|
18 July 2014 (UPDATED 7 August 2014)
Airbus will fly F-WWYB, the fifth of its new Airbus A350-900 development aircraft, from Doha, Qatar to Perth and return, as part of a series of route proving flights all over the world.
The A350 is scheduled to arrive in Perth from Doha at 3pm on 10 August 2014, departing back to Doha at 11pm.
This will be the first visit of this new type to Western Australia, and the second visit by the type to Australia – the same aircraft visited Sydney on 4 August 2014.
F-WWYB is one of five test aircraft and one of two (the other is F-WWCF, MSN 002) with a fully functional passenger cabin, containing 42 business class and 223 economy class seats. The A350 will be operated by Airbus flight crews, with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) pilots aboard as observers.
The flight test programme has already completed over 540 flights and 2,250 flight hours. Type Certification is scheduled for the third quarter of 2014.
Launch customer Qatar Airways will take the first delivery, in late 2014. Qatar Airways has ordered the 80 A350s (43 A350-900 and 37 A350-1000), and their CEO, Akbar Al-Baker, has declared that the A350 will be used on Perth services from early-2015. Qatar Airways had previously intended to use the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on Perth services from 1 February 2013, but electrical problems grounded the 787. Although the 787 grounding was later lifted, the airline decided that Perth is at the extreme end of the Boeing 787-8’s capabilities when flown from Doha. Currently, Qatar uses Boeing 777-300ER and 777-200LR on Doha-Perth services.
F-WWYB took off from Toulouse on the morning of 24 July 2014 on the first of the Route Proving test flights. Airbus says “The tests will demonstrate readiness for airline operations and will include high airfield performance, auto-landing trials, and airport turnaround and handling services. Some flights will have passengers on board. The A350 world tour itinerary includes 14 major airports worldwide and one route via the North Pole.”
The route proving trials include four trips over a period of three weeks, as follows:
- Trip one: Toulouse-Iqualuit-Frankfurt-Toulouse
- Trip two: Toulouse-Hong-Kong-Singapore-Hong-Kong-Toulouse (Hong Kong to Singapore several times)
- Trip three: Toulouse-Johannesburg-Sydney-Auckland-Santiago de Chile-Sao Paulo-Toulouse
- Trip four: Toulouse-Doha-Perth-Doha-Moscow-Helsinki-Toulouse
NOTE: This information could be subject to change.
The WA Chapter of the Australian Aerobatics Club is hosting the WA State Aerobatics Competition at Murrayfield (near Mandurah) on 18 and 19 October 2014.
Adam Gibbs, President of the WA Chapter Australian Aerobatics Club advised AviationWA that there will be five categories, based on difficulty (Graduate, Sportsman, Intermediate, Advanced, and Unlimited), plus a Cessna 152 trophy for the highest placed Cessna 152 pilot in the Graduate category.
For every category, the pilots must fly a Known aerobatics sequence in a ‘box’ of airspace measuring 1000 metres x 1000 metres x 1000 metres. Participating pilots are provided with the sequence at the start of the calender year, so the pilots have plenty of time to practice for it – hence the term ‘Known’.
Each manoeuvre is given a score out of 10 by judges on the ground, and this is multiplied by a difficulty factor (“K”). Zero scores may be awarded for completely messing up the manoeuvre, flying too low, flying it in the wrong direction, etc. The total score for all the manoeuvres is tallied up along with any penalties and a score for positioning, and the pilot given an overall % score for the sequence.
In the Graduate category, pilots fly this Known twice, and then pilots are ranked on overall score to determine the winner. The current sequence is here: http://www.aerobaticsaustralia.com.au/sequences/2014/graduate2014.pdf (loop, half cuban, roll-off-the-top, 1-turn spin, stall turn, slow roll, 180 degree steep turn, 270 degree steep turn)
In every category above Graduate, the pilots must also fly a ‘Free’ sequence (a sequence they’ve designed themselves, that meets certain criteria and overall difficulty/K factor) and an ‘Unknown’ sequence (a sequence that is given to pilots the day before, that they cannot practice).
The scores from the Known, Free and Unknown are combined to give an overall percentage, and the contestants are then ranked.
At the end of the competition, there is usually a 4-minute freestyle flight, either a demonstration or an actual competition. This is for the pilots with the highest skill level and is more air-display type flying with tumbles, smoke and noise. The pilots are judged on extra things like creativity, positioning, energy, variety, etc.
The competition is open to any pilot with a General Flying Progress Test (GFPT) and Aerobatics endorsement. For insurance purposes, participating pilots must be at least a State member of the Australian Aerobatics Club, which is only $35 and can be sorted out that morning. If the pilot does not have a low level waiver, they can fly the sequence down to their normal 3000 feet AGL (Above Ground Level) or they can fly down to 1500 feet AGL with a safety pilot aboard who has the appropriate waiver.
There should be plenty of Cessna 152s and a Super Decathlon available, so pilots shouldn’t have any problems getting an aircraft to participate in. There will be a briefing at the start of each day to go over the rules, conditions, procedures, etc.
Adam Gibbs will also be available for coaching from the air or ground, if people want to get into it before the competition.
Aircraft expected to attend (subject to change) include:
- VH-IXN Extra EA-330LX
- VH-WMX MXS Technologies MXS
- VH-JKR Stephens Akro Laser 230 “The Joker”
- VH-NBX Extra EA-300L
- VH-WFX Extra EA-300L
- VH-BQO Christen Eagle II
- VH-NQX American Champion 8KCAB Super Decathlon
- VH-AAZ American Champion 8KCAB Super Decathlon
- …and some RACWA Cessna 152s.
In an article in The West Australian newspaper, Geoffrey Thomas writes that construction of the $190 million Virgin Australia Pier and terminal at Perth Airport is now 12 months behind schedule and will not be in service until June 2015.
The Virgin Australia Pier, also know as the Domestic Pier, is an extension of the International Terminal (Terminal 1).
Virgin Australia is currently operating out of three terminals – Terminal 1 for international services and Terminal 2 for Virgin Australia Regional Airlines on the east side of the airport, plus Terminal 3 on the west side of the airport for mainline domestic services. Repeated delays in finishing construction of the Pier have cost the airline money and affected customer service.
In addition, Virgin Australia stakeholder and strategic partner Etihad Airways intends to co-locate its operations with Virgin Australia at the new Pier, to ease transfers between Virgin and Etihad flights and share airport facilities.
Surf Life Saving WA is to build an emergency service hub and proper hangar for their helicopters at Fremantle Heliport, at Rous Head, Fremantle, with completion scheduled for early 2015.
The two helicopters – an AgustaWestland A119 Koala (VH-FOI), and a Eurocopter AS350 Soloy Super D (VH-ELR), are used for search and rescue, beach patrols, and shark spotting during the summer.
As seen in the above photo, the helicopters are currently housed in an open-ended, arch-shaped tent, resting on two shipping containers, which provides little protection from weather. The staff currently use a temporary demountable building.
The facility will be revamped to include a proper helicopter hangar, specialised surf life saving training facilities and a communications tower.
It will be funded through a $1.3 million Lotterywest grant, $490,000 of SLSWA’s reserve funds and a $50,000 donation from BlueScope steel for the building.
16 July 2014
Etihad Airways commenced its new daily service between Perth and Abu Dhabi on Wednesday 16 July 2014, with the first service operated by Airbus A340-600 A6-EHH.
Flight EY486 departed Abu Dhabi 45 minutes late and landed on runway 21 at Perth at 13:41 local (scheduled to be at the gate by 13:10), after a flight of 10 hours 45 minutes from Abu Dhabi.
Upon arrival, the aircraft was greeted by a water cannon salute by two fire trucks of the Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Service, before it parked at Bay 51 at Terminal 1.
The return flight EY487 took off from runway 21 at 16:44 (scheduled departure from the gate was 15:55), landing at Abu Dhabi 10 hours 28 minutes later.
Perth is the Etihad’s fourth Australian destination after Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Etihad is a stakeholder in Virgin Australia and codeshares on Virgin flights to 13 Australian airports. The two airlines will both eventually operate from the new Domestic Pier at Terminal 1, when it opens in 2015.
The new Etihad service marks international option for WA travellers since Qantas all but abandonded the capital and putting 30 destinations within a one-stop reach.
The daily service will be normally operated by Etihad’s A330-200 aircraft, which have 22 Business and 240 Economy Class seats.
Etihad is the third Middle Eastern airline to operate Perth services, along with Qatar Airways (to Doha) and Emirates (to Dubai) with fast connections through to the UK and Europe.
Etihad has also announced its intention to use Boeing 787 Dreamliners on Perth services, sometime in 2016/2017.