Posts Tagged ‘airline’

Checking In on a Typical Mayor Gavin Newsom Press Conference a Half-Decade Later: Who Lost Qantas?

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Well, nobody really “lost” QANTAS, but SFO used to have the big Australian carrier like for a half-century and now it doesn’t so that’s what SFGov was upset about back in the day. Let’s review.

Here’s 2009, from Qantas:

“In 1954, San Francisco became Qantas’ first US mainland destination and we have a long association with the city. We are delighted to showcase our new aircraft to the people of San Francisco.”

And here’s 2009, from Newsom:

“San Francisco International Airport was designed to accommodate the new A380 aircraft, and we are extremely pleased today to welcome Qantas Airways in the first commercial A380 flight to SFO,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. “This state-of-the-art, environmentally sensitive new aircraft provides yet another bridge of friendship between San Francisco and Australia, and we look forward to continuing our long and successful partnership with Qantas.”

Now IRL, the Airbus A380 was and is just another airplane in the sky. And IRL, the state of the art of large commercial aircraft would be to use two large engines instead of the A380′s four smaller engines. And calling it “environmentally sensitive” was and is a bit of a stretch and, in fact, these days it’s considered a guzzler and so much so that Airbus is considering certifying completely different engines.

Anyway, what happened soon after this press conference in 2009 is that Qantas shut down operations at SFO and went to Texas. So instead of upgrading airplanes coming into town, they just upped and quit on us, they couldn’t wait to get out of here.

Why? Because it made sense for them to do so and also the airport people at Dallas Fort Worth came up with millions of dollars to throw at Qantas.

Who knows, Qantas might come back to SFO at some point (but it doesn’t really matter all that much).

Pretty much everything he said at his press conferences turned out to be wrong – this is just an example.

What It’s Like to Fly an Airbus A380 Super Jumbo Jet into SFO – Excellent Video – Multiple Angles

Friday, December 27th, 2013

See?

Virgin America Has an Awesome New Safety Video: “Buckle Up, To Get Down” – Set To Song And Dance

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013
San Francisco’s Hometown Airline has outdone itself with its new air safety video. All the deets
  • 36 Total Dancers
  • 26 Hours on Set
  • 14 Dance Styles Used: animation, b-boy, break dancing, Broadway, contemporary, contortion, finger-tutting, jazz, lyrical, pop-and-locking, tango, and waving–just to name a few.
  • 10 So You Think You Can Dance Alum
  • American Idol Semi Finalist: Todrick Hall
  • 1 Character from the Original Safety Video: the “Nun”
  • 2 Former Olympians: Tamara Campos as the “Nun” and Emilie Livingston as the “Teacher”
Check it:

“Virgin America Remixes The Safety Video:  Airline’s New Safety Video Set To Song And Dance

Hollywood Director Jon M. Chu and American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance Alums Tapped to Create First-of-its-Kind Video

Flyers Can Win Chance to Be Cast in a Future Version of Video by Showing off Their Best Freestyle #VXsafetydance Moves

Today Only, Airline Launches “Buckle Up, To Get Down” Special Offer of Up to 20% off Flights Nationwide* (restrictions apply)

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 29, 2013 — Virgin America, the airline that first put an irreverent twist on the in-flight safety video in the U.S., is taking its pre-flight safety education to new heights with the first-ever domestic safety video set entirely to music and performed in dance.  Launching on Google Play, YouTube and live on digital billboards across Times Square including the American Eagle billboard (at W. 46th Street & Broadway) at 12 p.m. ET today, the video will take to the skies on flights nationwide in November. Virgin America first made waves in the safety video genre in 2007, when it became the first domestic airline to feature a cheeky in-flight safety video across its fleet.  The cult favorite animated video will still be featured onboard the airline’s Red(TM) in-flight entertainment platform, but the new “VX Safety Dance” video will freshen up the rotation with a unique pre-flight safety experience that flyers will enjoy – and pay attention to. The new video was directed by Hollywood blockbuster film director (and Virgin America frequent flyer) Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Step Up 2) and includes some of the top dancers, singers and choreographers from American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance – with production by Virgin Group’s entertainment arm, Virgin Produced.”

Ever more deets, after the jump

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Orange Bridge, Blue Sky, White Airbus: A Very Nice Graphic From JetBlue

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Don’t you think?

Click to expand

Oh, and white clouds.

OMG, LAN Airlines Gave Away Hundreds of Round-Trip Tickets to South America at a Random Oakland Restaurant Last Night?

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Yes.

Yes it did.

Just look at these happy patrons over at Jack London Square’s Bocanova restaurant.

Thusly:

And thusly:

Man, if I had knowed, I would have loaded up the Land Cruiser with eight souls and headed on over there.

And then I’d have been off to Sud America to see Paradise Falls or to party like an impossible-to-fire BART spokesmodel or to do something, man.

Damn!

Well-played, LAN Airlines.

Well–played, Edelman PR

All the deets after the jump.

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How Jumbo is Too Jumbo? Airbus A380, SFO’s New Loadstar Aircraft, Bumps into Stuff Once Again

Monday, June 20th, 2011

I’ll tell you, I have no objection in particular about Airbus A380 superjumbo jets flying into and out of SFO, but over the past few years the arrival of this a/c got oversold, way oversold, by SFO, the old mayor’s office and the new mayor’s office.

They went on and on about how farsighted SFO was to become “A380-ready,” but after these kinds of taxiway incidents worldwide, I gotta ask:

Where’s your Messiah now, SFO?

Oh, here it is, at the Paris Air Show, bumping into buildings ‘n stuff. Sacre Bleu – Une Autre Allision!

Click to expand – via Niek van der Zande

(Don’t call it a wing fence (or winglet or sharklet) the way some journalists do, oh no, call it a wingtip fence. Thusly: “The Superjumbo jet just lost another wingtip fence.)

The deets from Paris:

“While the crew had been informed that the taxiway was clear for the A380, said Airbus, and the aircraft was on the centreline, it hit a building belonging to Aeroports de Paris.”

Oh well.

Hey SFO, why don’t you actually do something by getting your runways farther apart so you’ll be future-ready instead of just A380-ready?

Just asking, SFO Bro.

SFO’s New Terminal Two is Just an Another Airport Terminal, SFO’s New Air France A380 Jet is Just Another Jet

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Is new Terminal 2 at SFO really set to “dazzle?

Sadly no. It’s just another airport terminal right? Let’s keep things in sperpective.

The other dazzling piece of news coming up from Millbrae is Air France saying it will fly in an A380 superjumbo daily from gay Paris during Tourist Season 2011.

The best guess is that the A380 burns about 3% per passenger less than the slightly smaller competition from Boeing. Is that something to get excited about? Not really.

Oh, here we go, here’s an Air France Airbus A380 making friends in New Yawk just yesterday. What a bully! (The YouTube view count  just went from 303 views five minutes ago up to 17,000, so let’s call that going viral.)

Click to expand

Them A380′s are big, non?

Let’s hope that SFO can manage these big rigs better than JFK!

Anyway, to review, SFO’s New Terminal Two is Just an Another Airport Terminal, SFO’s New Air France A380 Jet is Just Another Jet.

No alarms, no surprises…

“Air France Flight 7 F-HPJD bound for Paris, was taxiing on a runway when its left wingtip struck the tail of Comair Flight 6293, which had just landed from Boston and was taxiing to its gate at Kennedy, one of the nation’s busiest airports…”

QANTAS Abandons S.F. for Texas – No More Qantas Rolls-Royce Ka-Booms over the 415 – SFO’s Airbus A380 Cargo Cult

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

How long has it been since three-star-rated former Mayor Gavin Newsom left office – has it been a week or two? Well, we’ll leave that to the judges and justices ‘n stuff, but, irregardless, it’s been long enough* for Qantas Airways Limited to announce that its abandoning the San Francisco Bay Area, g’night, mate.

Why? Well it’s ’cause they’ve been losing mad dollars on non-stop flights betwixt SFO and Cindy, Australia for donkey’s years. Enough is enough they figure, so future flights from Down Under will alight in Dallas, Texas. (Some Bay area travel(l)ers are not amused, not at all.)

Now, weren’t we due for superjumbo Airbus A380 double-decker service by now for those non-stop flights to Oz? Oh yes, but instead of getting that, we’re losing the non-stop, regular-jumbo Boeing 747-400 service we have now. I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking how could this be, San Francisco is a “natural amphitheater,” a “world-class” city even. Well, not anymore, or at least SFO isn’t a “world-class” airport anymore.

However, there’s a silver lining. You see, them Rolls-Royce engines, those RB211′s and those Trents 500 and up, well they blow up sometimes, ka-boom! Call it an “uncontained failure” they do. And QANTAS well, that’s pretty much all they run these days, the Rolls-Royce. (Just look at Australia’s national flag, why not, for the reason.) So, less Qantas = less less RR = less ka-boom over our heads.

For example, check out this Qantas flight out of SFO just last summer. It had passed the Farallones with almost full tanks and then, kaboom, Rolls-Royce engine #4 exploded. Oh well. Everybody made it back safe tho. Check it on the YouTube.

Flight 74 getting a little sparky high above the deep briny – not what you want to see looking out your window. Time to dump your avgas and circle back to Millbrae:

Click to expand

I hear you, you’re saying that’s the old Rolls-Royce. But, you know, that Qantas A380 engine that blewed up just after leaving Singapore late last year, that’s the new RR – indeed, that was a fairly recent vintage Trent 900 engine that destroyed itself. Oh well. The Aussie A380s have been patched up and now Qantas is flying them as far as they want again, to Los Angeles among other places. But not very long after the flights started again, yet another Qantas Rolls Royce engine went kaboom - this one was a contained failure, so that’s some consolation, anyway. Check it:

“A Qantas spokeswoman said yesterday the Rolls-Royce RB-211 engine would be replaced and the aircraft would be in service shortly. She said the latest incident involving Qantas jets and Rolls-Royce engines did not indicate any pattern of trouble. ”We certainly don’t view it that way at all,’ the spokeswoman said.”

O.K. fine. Whatever you say, lady.

Now with the SFO cargo cult. Leave us review:

“Cargo cult activity increased significantly during and immediately after World War II, when the residents of these in some Pacific islands observed the Japanese and American combatants bringing in large amounts of material. When the war ended, the military bases closed and the flow of goods and materials ceased. In an attempt to attract further deliveries of goods, followers of the cults engaged in ritualistic practices such as building crude imitation landing strips, aircraft and radio equipment, and mimicking the behaviour that they had observed of the military personnel operating them.”

See where I’m going here? Didn’t we just get done re-doing SFO so that we could handle five or six A380 superjumbos at a time? Hells yes! We saw a few test runs from aircraft with Airbus, Emirates and Qantas livery over the past few years.**

But those big metal birds didn’t come back.

No cargo for us.

So am I saying that it was a stupid idea for SFO to prepare for the Age of the Super Jumbo Jet? No, not really. I don’t know all the deets of how things costed out, and who knows, it wasn’t impossible that official San Francisco’s dream of somehow besting Los Angeles could have eventually worked out. But if you could have seen how proud SFO officials were of their A380-only, double decker jet bridges in the new International Terminal back in the day, well, you’d be thinking cargo cult too.

Who knows what the future will bring. International air travel will increase like gangbusters over the coming decade, so we’ll probably get some use out of those dusty double-decker jetways sooner or later. And maybe then Qantas will be back, with or without A380s. (The Q has abandoned us before, and we made do.) Or maybe Emirates will get a little more MPG from the non-Rolls-Royce, American-made GP7200 engines on their A380s so they’ll be able to make a non-stop superjumbo hop to the Bay Area from the Mid-East. Maybe.

(And maybe by that time SFO will be called Willie Lewis  Brown Jr. International Airport, I’m seriously, that’s what the other former Mayor of SF wants, he wants us to chuck the extremely well-known SFO moniker for WLB. Can you imagine?)

Anywho, if you want to go Sydney after May 2011, your only choice will be United Airlines. Now, that flight is on an old jet that the President of United says is “unacceptable,” but at least you don’t have to fly to Los Angeles on your way Down Under.

So long, Qantas.

*They waited a only a few days – what a joke!

**Man, what a load this was:

“Sensitive to the politically charged nature of outsourcing and offshoring, the Airbus chairman for North America, Allan McArtor, said 50 percent of the A380′s components are being made in the United States. McArtor hailed the new aircraft as quieter and more fuel efficient than wide-body jetliners of the past. Final assembly of the plane will be done in Toulouse, with the first test flights scheduled for next year.”

50% American content? Absolutely not. There’s a bit of American content in A380′s (some of them have more and some less) but it ain’t nowhere near 50% and there’s no way it could have been 50%. Airbus is run by the Euros – why would they go out of their way to employ Americans?

“G’Day Airbus!  Qantas A380 Arrives at SFO

Qantas' A380 arrives at the International Terminal“On January 14, 2009, SFO welcomed Qantas Airways’ new A380 as it arrived from Sydney – the first Airbus A380 to bring scheduled passengers to SFO. The aircraft’s arrival was celebrated with a party at its gate in the International Terminal.   Sponsored by Tourism Australia, the party featured Australian music, meat pies and sausage rolls, and a kangaroo.

The International Terminal, which opened in December 2000, was specifically designed to easily handle the arrivals and departures of large capacity airplanes such as the A380, the largest passenger aircraft in the world.

SFO’s International Terminal, with the country’s only built-in A380-ready gates, is the future for comfortable and convenient international air travel,” said John L. Martin, Director of San Francisco International Airport. “We welcome visitors from our sister city, Sydney, and look forward to offering regularly scheduled Airbus flights and connections for all of our international visitors.”

The International Terminal features five gates that can be used by the A380 – three with double loading bridges and two with triple loading bridges. SFO was the first airport in the United States to offer triple loading bridges. The third loading bridge extends to the A380’s top deck, which allows the aircraft’s 500-plus passengers to be conveniently and directly loaded or off-loaded from the gate to the aircraft in 40 minutes – approximately the same time it takes to load a 747-400. Moreover, SFO can accommodate a rapid turnaround for the Airbus. SFO is the only airport in the United States with such a high level of built-in readiness.

Qantas currently offers daily nonstop service between SFO and Sydney on its 747-400 aircraft. The airline plans to bring its A380 aircraft to San Francisco on a regular basis in the next few years.

Frequent Flier: Yet Another New Piece at the Open-Air 1269 McAllister Gallery

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Now, I’ve made up the names “Frequent Flier” and “1269 McAllister Gallery,” but no matter. This ornate chandelier is what you could have seen over the weekend in the Western Addition if you took the time to see it. Maybe it’s still there.

If not, a new piece will be up soon.

Who is the Artist? No one knows!

But is it Art, or a cry for help from a frequent flier?

Click to expand

You Make The Call

Qantas Flirts with San Francisco, But It’s Just Not That Into Us

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Does this huge, somewhat ungainly superjumbo jet seen above SFO today look somewhat familiar? It should, as we’ve seen its kind before. But Qantas is proud that it has the first scheduled Airbus A380 flight into San Francisco. These paying passengers came all the way from Cindy, Australia.

Check out the photos of our welcome at the International Terminal. (The kangaroo QANTAS had in Sydney yesterday at the start of the flight was a bit more lively than the specimen we had this morning at SFO, it appears. And for some reason, the Emirates A380 seems to be more luxurious. And there was no sign of Ralph Fiennes. But that’s not the problem.)

The problem is that this is all a tease and the big new metal bird is going to spend its time in sunny Los Angeles. Why? Read on.

The A380-800 looks stubby because it is. Its wings is too big for its body! But that will pay off once stretched models start coming out in a few years. Then this series of aircraft will look better proportioned, more like the graceful stretched Boeing 747. Click to expand:

via Joit’s photostream

Now back a half-year ago, the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services got all huffy at LAX and threatened that it would “move its flagship Airbus A380 services to San Francisco” unless Los Angeles upgraded its facilities.

Of course we’ve got mad upgrades up here in the 415. But not as many Australians want to come to the Bay Area compared with SoCal, and Oneworld connections with American Airlines are easier in LAX than in the Bay Area, and yada yada yada. So Qantas and El Lay patched things up and S.F. got left at the altar.

We’ll have to make do with regular old 747 service to Oz for a while longer anyway. But our cargo cult terminal upgrades for the new superjumbos should be worth the effort down the road, especially when the economy recovers.

And these days you can fly down under for cheap, so check the details after the jump.

G’day mates.

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