Posts Tagged ‘boeing’

A380 Superjumbo Update: Where’s Your Messiah Now, SFO? Things Just Aren’t Working Out with the Big Airbus

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Even back six years ago, even back in aught-eight, this kind of press release from SFO seemed more optimistic than average.

Anyway, we spent a lot of money getting ready for the Airbus A380 double-decker and we do get a handful of flights* every week, but things just haven’t worked out.

Oh look, it’s a Lufthansa A380 filled with German tourists going home after their summer vacations in the bay area, high above Daly City: 

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I’ll tell you, the reason why we still use a lot of four-engined Boeing 747-400 jumbos at SFO is because we already have them. They’re there, hundreds of them. But they guzzle a lot of fuel, so, not too long ago, the A380 was considered to be The Future. But it’s a guzzler too. So The Future now belongs to large twin-engine aircraft like the Boeing 777 models (present and future) and the slightly smaller twin-engined Airbus A350 line.

So all that hype coming out of SFGov about the A380 being “green,” well that was a lot of hogwash. The A380 was/is just another jetliner and SFO took steps to accommodate its massive size and that’s fine, but it wasn’t/isn’t/will never be a game changer the way the people at SFO were hoping for (or lying about – I still can’t tell why they were so excited as late as 2008, when the promise of the A380 was already being questioned).

Anyway, here’s the update:

A380 Continues To Pose Challenges For Heathrow – The A380 was tapped to help capacity-strapped airports, but could it end up hurting them?

Arguably, the A380 was specifically designed for Heathrow, which has a runway shortage and a NIMBY neighbour problem. So great, here’s a giant plane that’s really quiet – isn’t that great? Well, read the link above to see how things are working out when the rubber meets the tarmac.

SFO also has a runway shortage and a NIMBY neighbor problem, but our airport is a lot smaller and, as stated, those A380′s aren’t really working out and nobody’s really buying them anymore, so we’re not going to have to deal with Heathrow’s problems. No no, we’ll just muddle through.

But the skeptics have already been proven correct, after just six years.

One wonders what SFO’s next overhyped fad will be…

*More so in the summer, when the French and the Germans really pine to come here, so they can stay “Near Union Square” in a fleabag hotel only to get bitten by bedbugs, only to be told that said fleabag hotel doesn’t have bedbugs so GTH. On behalf of San Francisco, I wish to say, “Sorry, French and German people.”

Ahora Más Que Nunca: “Hawaiian Airlines to Launch Daily Non-Stop Service Between San Francisco and Maui”

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

United will soon have competition, once again, on SFO-OGG and OGG-SFO.

(I’ll tell you, I’ve flown to Oahu, you know, on bidness, using Continental and United and all and that worked out I s’pose, but one time I had to go to Maui for a wedding and I didn’t realize that not giving United an extra $20 for Economy Plus meant that I was going to end up sitting in Economy Minus (effectively – United calls it Economy but it’s def less roomy than the old United Economy) and, to boot, first-world problem, this was on a old Boeing 757 narrow-body Flying Pencil. Man, my butt was all the way back but my knees were hard up against the seat in front of me – it was no picnic. Since then, one time I got upgraded to Economy Plus for free and that was a triple beam lyrical dream in comparison. Otherwise, in all my years, I’ve always flown Economy / Coach (except for the Emirates excursion flight I took for 60 minutes SFO-SFO on an A380 complete with shower stalls) and man that United flight to Maui really stands out. My point is that Hawaiian’s newish A330 widebodies have got to be better than what United used to offer SFO-OGG and OGG-SFO.)

All the deets:

“Hawaiian Airlines to Launch Daily Non-Stop Service Between San Francisco and Maui

HONOLULU, Aug. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — In a continued effort to expand its service in the Bay Area, Hawaiian Airlines today announced it will offer non-stop service between San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Kahului Airport (OGG) beginning November 20, 2014, allowing more access to the Hawaiian Islands from one of its largest North American markets.

“This year we’ve brought back our San Jose to Honolulu service, offered new seasonal non-stop flights from Oakland to Kona and Lihu’e, and now we are launching daily service between San Francisco and Maui–all in response to the robust demand we’ve received from the Bay Area,” said Peter Ingram, Hawaiian Airlines executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “We are very pleased to connect two existing gateways in our network together, offering Hawai’i residents another way to travel to the Bay Area, and Northern California travelers another reason to visit the Hawaiian Islands.”

The non-stop service between San Francisco and Maui will begin with flights four times a week from November 20, 2014 before moving into daily service beginning December 17, 2014. The new daily service will add a total of more than 210,000 seats to both San Francisco and Maui travel markets per year, and will be operated by Hawaiian Airlines’ wide-body, twin-aisle Airbus 330-200 aircraft, which seats 294 passengers, with 18 in First Class and 276 in the Main Cabin.

(more…)

Aviation Writer James Fallows Commits the MSM Blunder of the Year with “Don’t Blame Malaysia Airlines” in the NYT

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Hoo boy: “Don’t Blame Malaysia Airlines

“Was this disaster somehow the airline’s fault? The answer is no — but to understand why, you have to look at the complex realities of modern commercial aviation.”

My isn’t this a touch patronizing? Well, obviously the primary fault is with the crew and commanders of the Gadfly missile system used to shoot down the plane. But Malaysian Air Systems is partially to blame for its negligent operation.

“Malaysia Airlines, already world famous because of the still-missing flight MH370, appears to have been following all normal safety rules.”

Is anybody suggesting that this flight was somehow illegal? I don’t think so. So talking about Malaysian following the “rules” is pointless.

“…explicit prohibitions are critical, because the entire aviation system works on the premise that unless airspace is marked as off-limits, it is presumptively safe and legal for flight.

OK again, Jimmy, the flight was unsafe but legal. Nobody’s suggesting that the flight was not legal.

“…when they crossed this zone at 33,000 feet, they were neither cutting it razor-close nor bending the rules, but doing what many other airlines had done, in a way they assumed was both legal and safe.”

Again, Jimmy, why are you harping on what’s “legal” to make your point that Malaysian wasn’t negligent? It’s as if the New York Times has turned into the Public Relations arm of Malaysian Air Systems or the government of Malaysia.

All right, it’s time to review. Here’s a partial list of airlines that were specifically avoiding this part of eastern Ukraine before the shootdown:

Asiana Airlines

Korean Air Lines  

China Airlines

Air France

British Airways

Air Berlin [Germany's second-largest airline]

The operators of these airlines would have been able to fly over eastern Ukraine legally, but they chose not to. Why’s that, Jimmy? Why would these airlines spend more on kerosene for no reason?

Mr. Fallows continues in The Atlantic:

Somehow I suspect that if it had been a Lufthansa plane that was attacked, there would be fewer starting-point assumptions that the carrier had somehow been cutting corners at the cost of its passengers’ safety. 

This sounds like it came straight from Malaysian Airlines, this racism (or whatever) argument he’s pushing. In any event, corner-cutting at the expense of passenger safety is exactly what occurred here.

And here’s the stinger:

“If a government or rogue faction shoots down a commercial plane, is that really an “air safety issue?” 

Well, hell yes it is, Jimmy. It’s exactly an air safety issue. That’s why all those airlines cited above, plus others, were avoiding the area. For safety.

Comes now aviation writer Christine Negroni to offer views contrary to that of flyboy fanboy James Fallows:

So while Malaysia is self-evidently correct it its statements; the airspace was open and hundreds flights between Europe and Asia were using it every day, it is a weak reply to a valid question of responsibility

Indeed.

Why James Fallows wants to shut down the conversation about the question of responsibility is a mystery to me…

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.

SFO Update: “United Airlines to Launch Nonstop Service Between San Francisco and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport”

Monday, May 12th, 2014

If your destination is Tokyo, why not fly there direct instead of landing in the next prefecture over at Narita?

“United Airlines to Launch Nonstop Service Between San Francisco and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport

Daily flights to Tokyo’s close-in airport complement new service this year to Taipei, Chengdu

SAN FRANCISCO, May 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — United Airlines, the U.S. carrier with the most extensive global reach, today announced it will add Tokyo’s Haneda Airport to its route network, with daily nonstop service from San Francisco effective Oct. 26, 2014, subject to government approval.

Haneda Airport will be the tenth trans-Pacific destination that United serves nonstop from San Francisco, and the third new Asia-Pacific airport – also including Taipei and Chengdu – for United this year.

“We are excited about adding Haneda Airport to our global route network,” said Jim Compton, United’s vice chairman and chief revenue officer. “By providing nonstop service from our San Francisco hub to both Tokyo airports, we will maximize choice and convenience for customers traveling from across the Americas to Tokyo, and to points beyond on our joint-venture partner ANA.”

Flight 875 will depart San Francisco International Airport daily at 6:35 p.m., arriving at Haneda Airport at 10:05 p.m. the following day (all times local). On the return, flight 876 will depart Haneda daily at 12:05 a.m., arriving in San Francisco at 5:15 p.m. the previous day, after crossing the International Date Line. Flying times will be approximately 11 hours, 30 minutes westbound and 9 hours, 10 minutes eastbound.

Effective Nov. 2, 2014, San Francisco arrival and departure times will be one hour earlier due to the end of daylight saving time.

The flight schedules enable customers to use convenient public transportation between Haneda Airport and central Tokyo and Yokohama.

Connecting Flights
United customers traveling on the new Haneda flights will be able to make one-stop connections at the San Francisco hub to and from 28 cities throughout North America and beyond. In addition, the new service will provide connections at Haneda on the extensive network of United’s joint-venture partner ANA to other international destinations, including Bangkok and Singapore.

With the introduction of the San Francisco – Tokyo/Haneda service, United will operate once-daily service between San Francisco and Tokyo’s Narita International Airport, rather than the twice-daily service currently offered. The airline also operates daily service to Tokyo/Narita from its hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Washington.

United in San Francisco
United is the largest carrier at San Francisco International Airport, offering nearly 300 daily flights to more than 90 destinations in the U.S. and around the world, more service than any other airline from the Bay Area. From its San Francisco hub, United also offers more nonstop trans-Pacific service to and from the United States than any other carrier hub. United currently operates nearly 30 daily nonstop flights from San Francisco to 21 international destinations and will add nonstop service from San Francisco to Chengdu, China, in June, pending government approval.

Onboard Products and Services
The Haneda service will be operated with Boeing 777 aircraft with 269 seats – eight in United Global First, 40 in United BusinessFirst and 221 in United Economy, including 104 United Economy Plus extra-legroom seats. Both Global First and BusinessFirst feature flat-bed seats, along with a wide range of premium-cabin services and amenities.  All seats on the 777 feature a personal on-demand entertainment system.

About United
United Airlines and United Express operate an average of more than 5,200 flights a day to 369 airports across six continents. In 2013, United and United Express carried more passenger traffic than any other airline in the world and operated nearly two million flights carrying 139 million customers. United operates nearly 700 mainline aircraft and, in 2014, will take delivery of 35 new Boeing aircraft, including the B787-9 as the North American launch customer, and will welcome 27 new E175 aircraft to United Express. The airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 195 countries via 26 member airlines. More than 85,000 United employees reside in every U.S. state and in countries around the world. For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United’s parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.

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The First Boeing 787 Dreamliner I’ve Ever Seen – JAL JA821J – To SFO from Haneda Tokyo International Airport

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

One thing’s for sure, Boeing didn’t do a good job with the introduction of lithium-ion batteries.

OTOH, if you want to get to the city of Tokyo, it’s nice to be able to fly on in to Haneda instead of big old, far away Narita International.

Presenting your fuel-efficient, little-giant, wide-body Boeing 787: 

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And This Week’s #1 San Francisco-Related YouTube Video is All About “Chemtrails” from an Asiana 747

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Of course the scientific term for chemtrails is contrails, or vapor trails if you prefer.

But if you’re tired of controlled demolition, Building 7, and the JFK conspiracy, then chemtrails might be for you!

Chemtrail sprayer closeup over San Francisco, 2-16-14

(Nice camera, dude – a Canon Powershot SX50 at 1200mm equivalent.)

An Aging Boeing 757-300 High Above San Francisco – This is Why They Call It The Flying Pencil

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

‘Cause it’s too long.

And that made it unpopular with passengers.

And that meant it died an early death.

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Good-bye, Boeing 757. Thanks for showing us how narrow is too narrow and how long is too long…

Mountain View View, Sometimes – The Boeing 747-200 What They Call Air Force One Right Next to the 101 Freeway

Friday, October 25th, 2013

What you can see from the freeway, sometimes:

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And then you’ll see the support aircraft at and around SFO, in the next county up the 101.

Hill, Plane, Building: “SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, THE INDUSTRIAL CITY” – Frankfurt-Bound Lufthansa 747-400 – “UNITED AIR LINES”

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Icons all:

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