4 February 2016 © David Eyre
Western Australia Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan told The West Australian newspaper that the Police are considering a more manoeuvrable helicopter to replace their Kawasaki BK-117, VH-WAH / POLAIR 61.
Police in Western Australia and Victoria are proposing helicopters to stop offenders escaping or injuring innocent people by avoiding car pursuits.
The BK-117 was built in 1990 and purchased second hand from Japan in 1992, and requires replacement.
In May 2009, WA Police ordered a new $24 million Eurocopter AS365N3+ Dauphin 2 helicopter, VH-WPX/POLAIR 62, as an additional helicopter. This was delivered in September 2011 and engineers spent over 5,000 hours designing and integrating various systems, including communications, sensors, a forward-looking infra-red (FLIR) camera, Tasking and Dispatch Information Systems (TADIS), special lighting, a rescue winch and other equipment. It entered service in July 2012.
The Police will retain the Dauphin 2, but it is considered better suited to special operations, as it is large (carries up to 10 passengers), expensive to run, slow to launch and not manoeuvrable enough.
In the next 12 months, the WA Police will consider purchasing two smaller, more manoeuvrable helicopters, which can monitor high speed car pursuits, searches and conduct other missions.
23 January 2016 © David Eyre
The annual City of Perth Australia Day Air Show 2016 was held over the Swan River in Perth on Tuesday 26 January 2016.
AAWA President David Eyre was aboard Tiger Moth VH-BTP/A17-744 (these photos will be uploaded soon).
The display schedule and participating aircraft are listed below, where known.
|15:35||Oldtimer Fly By||Vintage aircraft display (9 aircraft planned)
|15:45||Seven Above||Helicopter towing Channel 7 flag|
|16:00||Beautiful Biplanes||Biggest gathering of biplane aircraft in WA
|16:15||Flying Circuit||Fixed wing aircraft and helicopter with smoke:
|16:30||Mix On High||Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel helicopter towing MIX 94.5 flag|
|16:45||Speed & Stealth||Large and fast aircraft handling display:
|17:00||RACWA Formation||Formation flying display with a variety of high wing aircraft: Cessna A152 Aerobats and Cessna 172s of Royal Aero Club of Western Australia
|17:15||Australia Day Salute||Helicopter towing large Aussie flag|
|17:30||David & Goliath||Formation Aerobatics in Harmony:
|17:45||Colourful Canopies||Skydiving display over Langley Park with Perth Skydiving Display Team
|18:00||Smoky Chopper / Seven Above||Special effects chopper / helicopter towing Channel 7 flag
|18:10||Perth Air Race||High performance aircraft match up
|18:20||Aerorescue / RFDS||VH-PPG Dornier 328 of Aerorescue and Pilatus PC-12s of the Royal Flying Doctor Service
|18:30||RAAF Hawk Jets||Flying in formation with solo aerobatics: BAE Systems Hawk 127 of 79 Squadron, RAAF
|18:40||Rotorvation / Mix On High||Rotor display, including one helicopter towing MIX 94.5 flag
|18:55||Mile High Message||Skywriting PERTH @ 10,000 feet above
|19:00||DFES Aerial Fleet||Firefighting water drop demonstration (subject to change):
|19:10||Spiraling Angles||Aircraft trailing smoke
|19:20||Aerobatic Stunts||Tumble & Turn & Twist
|19:30||Australia Day Salute||Helicopter towing large Aussie flag|
|19:40||Night Lights||High performance piston aircraft formation fly past
|19:50||Lighting the Way||Emergency rescue helicopter: VH-EWA Bell 412EP “RAC Rescue”
Police Helicopter with lights: VH-WPX / POLAIR 62 Eurocopter AS365N3+ Dauphin 2
21 January 2016 © David Eyre
Malaysia Airlines is to bring forward their last regular scheduled Boeing 777-200ER flights to 26/27 January 2016 (instead of 27 March 2016) as part of the planned retirement of the type from the fleet.
From an original fleet of 17 Boeing 777-200ERs, six remain in service (9M-MRA/E/L/M/P/Q) and these are 15 to 19 years old. All will be sold.
Seven of Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing 777s have already been returned to the leasing companies (9M-MRB/C/F/G/H/I/J), one is stored (9M-MRN), and one was scrapped (9M-MRK).
Two 777s were tragically lost with the mysterious disappearance of flight MH370 (9M-MRO) and the shootdown of MH17 over Ukraine (9M-MRD).
Following last year’s major reform of Malaysia Airlines under new CEO Christoph Mueller, the airline has cut staff, reviewed routes and its aircraft fleet, and will rely on codeshare arrangements with airline partners to serve some destinations. Tha airline had accumulated debts of nearly $1.5 billion since 2011.
As part of this review, the airline announced that it would end its Paris and Amsterdam flights from 26 January 2016. Some of the 777 pilots are leaving, whilst others have been offered options including: awaiting possible future vacancies on other types in the fleet; secondment to other airlines; or unpaid long-term leave.
It was originally planned that the 777s would continue on the Kuala Lumpur-Guangzhou route until 27 March 2016. However, the airline decided to change the Guangzhou service to use Boeing 737-800s from 26 January, enabling the full withdrawal of 777s from regular service in January.
Two of Malaysia Airlines’ six Airbus A380s are also being sold, with the remaining four to be used for its double-daily London flights. These four remaining A380s will be replaced from late 2017 by four Airbus A350-900s being leased from Air Lease Corporation. The airline also has options to lease two additional A350-900s and two A330-900neo aircraft.
14 January 2016 – copyright © David Eyre
Emirates today announced that it will start a second daily Airbus A380 service from Dubai to Perth on 1st August 2016, replacing the current Boeing 777-300ER aircraft operating on the early morning EK424/EK425 service.
Emirates was the first airline to operate scheduled A380 services to Perth, starting from 1 May 2015 on the evening EK420/EK421 service. Prior to this, several Emirates A380s made unscheduled visits, from 15 August 2009.
However, this will not actually be the first time that an A380 has operated EK424/EK425, as A380 A6-EOL operated the service on 21 July 2015, which was also A6-EOL’s first revenue service with the airline. A6-EEH also operated EK424-425 on 30 July 2015.
EK424 departs Dubai at 10.10am, arriving in Perth at 12.50am the next day, so the first of the upgraded EK424/425 services will actually arrive and depart Perth on 2nd August 2016. EK425 departs Perth at 6.00am, arriving in Dubai at 1pm same day.
With the new A380 morning service, Emirates will have the capacity to transport over 14,000 passengers per week between Dubai and Perth. Australia is the third largest A380 destination for Emirates globally. From August, 7 of the airline’s 11 daily flights between Dubai and Australia will be operated by an A380.
Emirates operates the world’s largest fleet of Airbus A380s, with 72 in service and another 68 on order.
14 January 2016 – copyright © David Eyre
Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways have both separately announced their intention to use the new Airbus A350-900 on Australian services.
It was originally thought that Qatar Airways would be the first to use A350s to Perth, following announcements on 5 May 2014 by Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker that his airline will replace the current Boeing 777 service with the new Airbus A350-900 in early 2015. This would have made Perth it one of the first routes for the new A350. However, the airline instead chose to continue to use Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on Perth services.
Singapore Airlines regional vice-president Mr Tiow Kor Tan recently told Australian Business Traveller that following the initial 10 long-haul A350-900s being delivered in 2016, subsequent A350s to arrive from 2017 will be configured with fewer business class seats for use on medium-haul routes, including Australian services.
In a separate article, Nelson Chin, Cathay Pacific’s Regional General Manager for South West Pacific told Australian Business Traveller that the airline is considering increased capacity to Perth and that “within the next 3-4 years, all the A330s would be switched over to A350s, so that would be the new minimum capacity that we’d have on any flight into Australia.”
The first of Cathay’s A350s is expected to make its first flight in March 2016.
17 December 2015 copyright © David Eyre
Etihad Airways today confirmed that it will upgrade its daily Perth-Abu Dhabi flights to the Boeing 787-9 from 1 June 2016, replacing the current Airbus A330-200 on the route.
The schedule remains unchanged, with flight EY486 from Abu Dhabi to Perth departing Abu Dhabi at 10:25pm local time to reach Perth at 1:50pm the next day, departing at 3:40pm local time to returning to Abu Dhabi for an 11:10pm arrival.
Back on 4 May 2014, at an Etihad media event to showcase their new A380 and 787 cabin features, and prior to Perth services commencing, President and CEO James Hogan originally announced plans to use the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on Abu Dhabi – Perth services from around 2016/2017.
Etihad commenced services on the Abu Dhabi – Perth route from 15 July 2014, using Airbus A330-200 aircraft, although the first service used an Airbus A340-600. The Airbus A330-200s currently used on Perth services are configured with 22 Business Class seats, and 240 Economy Class seats for a total of 240 passengers, a total of 262 passengers.
From 1 June 2016, Etihad will use two-class Boeing 787-9s on Perth services, configured with a new layout consisting of 28 Business Class seats and 271 Economy seats (299 passengers in total). These 787s have inflight WiFi and Etihad’s latest ‘Business Studio’ fully flat business class seats, providing 20% more space per passenger than the current A330 business class seats.
Current 787-9s in Etihad’s fleet have 8 First Class Suites, 20 Business Studio seats and 199 Economy seats, a total of 235 passengers. Etihad’s 787-9 was the first type to sport the carrier’s revised livery and entered service with the airline on 1 February 2015, and the first Australian destination was Brisbane from 2 June 2015.
3 December 2015 [UPDATED 10 DEC 2015] © David Eyre
Japan Airlines (JAL) and ANA are considering flights between Tokyo and Perth.
JAL Chairman Masaru Onishi stated this in an interview in early December with Kyodo News.
Following this, Osamu Shinobe, President and CEO of ANA told Australian Business Traveller that Perth is a likely destination for the airline, is their new Sydney-Tokyo service is successful.
Qantas previously operated Perth-Tokyo services with Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, until 8 May 2011.
Like Qantas, JAL is also a member of the Oneworld airline alliance. ANA is a member of Star Alliance.
Japan is Western Australia’s second largest trading partner, but Perth currently has no direct flights to Japan.
22 November 2015 – copyright © David Eyre
Virgin Australia and Perth Airport today celebrated the start of operations at the new Terminal 1 Domestic, located between T1 International and T2.
The previous night, twelve Virgin Australia aircraft were towed across from Terminal 3 on the west side of the airport, to T1 Domestic on the east side. Terminal 3 will be used by Qantas from 29 November, in addition to Terminal 4.
The front doors opened at 5:46am and first departing passengers entered.
The first flight arrival at the new terminal was Virgin Australia flight VA713 from Adelaide which was operated by Embraer E190 VH-ZPN. It was greeted by a water cannon salute from the Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting crews as it taxied in, and parked at Bay 148A at 7:26am, a few minutes earlier than scheduled. The first passengers from the arriving flight were given the honour of cutting a ribbon to enter the terminal.
The first departing flight was the same aircraft departing back to Adelaide as VA714, which pushed back at 8:27am, a few minutes early.
The long-awaited new terminal pier was built specifically for Virgin Australia. T1 Domestic is the most significant project in Perth Airport’s $1 billion redevelopment, and a key milestone in the transition to collocating all airline operations around T1 and T2.
Until today, Virgin Australia had operated from three terminals on opposite sides of the airport, and the new T1 Domestic enables the consolidation of Virgin’s regional/FIFO, mainline intrastate/interstate and international services together on the east side for the first time, making it easier for passengers to transfer between flights.
The terminal was designed by Australian-based international architects, Woods Bagot. It was constructed by Built Environs over three years at a cost of $190 million, but was completed 17 months later than planned. Over 4200 contractors and suppliers worked an estimated 1.8 million man hours to build the 250-metre long terminal. Construction used over 15,000 cubic metres of concrete, 2,000 tonnes of steel, and 35,000 square metres of glazing and cladding to the exterior of the building.
- 28 domestic check-in kiosks and bag-drop technology;
- 12 aerobridge-serviced departure gates, including three A330-capable aircraft gates;
- a central retail and dining area; and
- a state-of-the-art Virgin Australia lounge featuring the airline’s signature Espresso and Wine Bar.
- innovative sustainable design features to reduce energy consumption, including the use of natural light and a façade providing shade during summer.
19 November 2015 © David Eyre
Malindo Air operated their first service to Perth (also their first service to Australia) today.
Boeing 737-800 9M-LNW operated the inaugural flight, arriving on runway 21 from Kuala Lumpur as flight OD151 at 2:41pm.
As it taxied in, it was greeted by a traditional water cannon salute from the Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting crews, parking at Bay 151A.
The return service OD152 to Kuala Lumpur took off from runway 21 at 3:50pm.