Posts Tagged ‘emirates’

It’s Finally Happening: Emirates Airlines Launches Daily Airbus A380 Superjumbo Service Between SFO and Dubai December 1st

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Well I just saw a banner ad, so consider that confirmation that, as of December 1st, 2014*, Emirates is finally offering daily flights to and from Dubai out of SFO on its shower-stall equipped** Airbus A380 double-decker superjumbos.

So, chalk that up as a victory for SFO.

Here’s your Emirates A380, equipped with a horseshoe bar in the back, upstairs, for Business and First Class passengers only:

img_0322-copy

It was back in 2008 that Emirates brought a then-new A380 to town, to show it off. Get all the deets on that visit right here.

But, IRL, they ended up using the smaller Boeing 777-300ER twinjet instead. When asked, the Emirates people said they were “considering” the A380 for daily flights to and from SFO. Well, six years later, the day has come.

Oh, here’s my take on SFO + A380 readiness right here. IMO, the A380 was, is, and will continue to be Just Another Airplane. Sorry.

Oh well.

*The writer is saying that the new, longer-range A380′s are lighter?  Uh, I think he should have said heavier instead. More fuel = more range, right? That’s the case here. It’s still a very heavy aircraft, one that’s still heavier than designed…

**What happens to your used shower water after your five-minute-max spritz is over? Emirates wanted to dump it out in-flight but I don’t think they got permission to do that. So, there’s a holding tank that gets emptied out after landing. So, Emirates needs to burn more fuel to carry a useless load of soapy water waste water. Not too “green,” huh? Oh well.

Well This is News: “Emirates and Virgin America Launch Frequent Flyer Partnership”

Monday, October 21st, 2013

 

Emirates and Virgin America Launch Frequent Flyer Partnership - International “Airline of the Year” & “Best U.S. Airline” Together Offer Frequent Flyers New Global Reward Opportunities, Award-Winning Guest Service

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 21, 2013 — Emirates and Virgin America today announce a frequent flyer partnership that allows members of both airlines’ frequent flyer programs to earn and redeem* points or miles for travel across the networks of two airlines respectively recognized as best-in-class for global and U.S. domestic service. For its part, Virgin America has swept the major travel awards every year since its launch in 2007, including being named  “Best U.S. Airline” in Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards and “Best Domestic Airline” in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards for six consecutive years. Emirates, connector of people, places and cultures, with one of the youngest fleets in the sky, has earned scores of awards for in-flight cuisine, in-flight entertainment, and excellence of overall guest service, including the 2013 “Airline of the Year” award from Skytrax.

Starting today, members of Emirates Skywards frequent flyer program will be able to earn Skywards miles when traveling on all Virgin America flights and can redeem their Skywards miles for reward flights on all Virgin America routes. Members of Virgin America’s Elevate frequent flyer program can now earn Elevate points when flying with Emirates to one of its 135 destinations in 76 countries, including Dubai and beyond, as well as redeem* their Elevate points for international reward flights on any route flown by Emirates including those out of New York (JFK), San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), Washington (IAD), Seattle (SEA), Houston (IAH), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Boston (BOS).** Additionally, Elevate members will have the opportunity to earn and redeem* points on Emirates’ new non-stop service between New York and Milan. Emirates is currently the only carrier to offer a First Class cabin service between these two cities.

“Through our partnership with Emirates, we’re able to offer enhanced international travel options; Emirates’ network can take Elevate members to the Middle East and beyond,” said Phil Seward, Virgin America’s Director of Guest Loyalty. “Virgin America is an airline recognized for high-quality guest service and unique tech-forward in-flight amenities. In Emirates we have found a partner that also offers guests an attractive mix of award-winning service, innovative in-flight entertainment and other features.”

“Emirates is committed to providing passengers with a superior product, service and connections,” said Jim Baxter, Vice President for North America, Emirates Airline. “We are delighted to be able to offer our loyal Emirates Skywards members with more options for earning and redeeming their reward miles through our frequent flyer program partner Virgin America.  We also look forward to welcoming Virgin America’s Elevate program members on board our flights, and providing them with more rewarding access to our extensive route network.”

To celebrate the launch of the frequent flyer partnership, one lucky Elevate member will “Win a Dream Trip to Dubai with Emirates.”*** Members may enter at http://woobox.com/dhk73a for a chance to win two (2) round trip Economy class tickets on Emirates to Dubai for an exclusive VIP experience that includes a three-night stay at Dubai’s iconic Atlantis, The Palm resort, a Dolphin Encounter at the resort’s Dolphin Bay,  and a unique all-inclusive dinner in the desert dunes.  All Elevate members will also earn 250 Elevate points for entering the promotion.***

Emirates is the fifth airline to join Virgin America’s Elevate frequent flyer program, which also includes Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. The partnership will offer expanded redemption* opportunities for both business and leisure travelers on the two carriers.

Known for beautifully designed cabins and unparalleled in-flight entertainment, Virgin America’s new fleet of Airbus A320-family aircraft offers custom-designed mood-lit cabins and amenities like fleetwide WiFi, power outlets and personal entertainment — with live TV including MSNBC, CNN, CNBC and more — at every seat. The Red((TM)) platform offers guests their own seatback touch-screen TVs, with 25 films, live TV, Google Maps, video games, seat-to-seat chat, music videos, a 4,000 song library and an on-demand menu – so flyers can order a cocktail or snack from their seatbacks any time during a flight. In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, the airline’s First Class offers plush white leather seating with 55 inches of pitch, 165 degrees of recline and lumbar massagers. The carrier’s Main Cabin Select option offers 38-inches of pitch, free food and cocktails, an all-access pass to media content, dedicated overhead bins and priority check-in/boarding.

The Virgin America experience dovetails perfectly with Emirates’ award-winning service and renowned in-flight experience. Recognized for its excellence in service and innovation, both on board and on the ground, Emirates holds an impressive array of prestigious awards, most recently including 2013 “Airline of the Year” award from Skytrax.

Last year, Virgin America launched a suite of enhancements to its Elevate frequent flyer program — including Elevate Gold and Elevate Silver status levels that offer perks such as: priority check-in, security clearance and boarding; points earning bonuses; free checked bag allowances; enhanced digital/social rewards; private discounts; an expanded advance purchase upgrade window for the airline’s exclusive eight-seat First Class; complimentary space-available upgrades to the carrier’s premium Main Cabin Select service; and complimentary access to the best seat assignments within Main Cabin. In December 2012, Virgin America opened its first airport lounge — the Virgin America Loft at LAX, which offers guests a sleek and modern retreat, with a selection of amenities and a space that reflects the look and feel of the airline’s mood-lit aircraft and overall design aesthetic.

Emirates currently serves more than 135 destinations across six continents with a young and technologically advanced fleet of more than 205 widebody aircraft that are equipped with industry-leading comforts in the air.  Its Airbus A380s serve many destinations worldwide, including Los Angeles fromDecember 2, 2013.  Among the many amenities available to Emirates passengers is the ice entertainment system, which offers up to 1,500 channels of entertainment in many languages, in-flight Wi-Fi service, private First Class suites, the Emirates onboard lounge, and private shower spas on the A380. For more information visit emirates.com.

Emirates Skywards, the award-winning frequent flyer program of Emirates, offers four tiers of membership – Blue, Silver, Gold and Platinum – with each membership tier providing exclusive privileges. Members earn Skywards Miles when they fly on Emirates or partner airlines, or when they use the program’s designated hotels, car rentals, financial, leisure and lifestyle partners. Emirates Skywards Miles can be redeemed for an extensive range of rewards, including tickets on Emirates and other Skywards partner airlines, flight upgrades, hotel accommodation, excursions and exclusive shopping.

In just over six years of flying, Virgin America has expanded to 23 airport destinations and has created 2,600 new jobs. Virgin America currently flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Newark, Washington D.C. (IAD and DCA), Las Vegas, San Diego, Seattle, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Cabos, Cancun, Chicago, Puerto Vallarta, Palm Springs (seasonal), Philadelphia, Portland, San Jose, Austin and Anchorage (seasonal).

Photos of Virgin America’s unique aircraft: www.virginamerica.com/about/airline-photos/virgin-america-pictures.html

Broadcast quality video b-roll can also be downloaded here.

EDITORS NOTE: Virgin America is a U.S.-controlled and operated airline and is an entirely separate company from Virgin Atlantic. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is a minority share investor in Virgin America.

About Virgin America: Headquartered in California, Virgin America offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel. With topnotch guest service and beautiful design, Virgin America has earned a host of industry awards since launching service in 2007. The airline’s base of operations is San Francisco International Airport (SFO)’s beautiful and sustainable Terminal 2. With one of the youngest fleets in the U.S., Virgin America offers Gogo((TM)) WiFi, interactive in-flight entertainment systems with the largest media library in the North American skies via the touch-screen Red((TM)) platform and power outlets near every seat. Flyers can find the airline’s Best Fares Guaranteed at www.virginamerica.com/

About Emirates: Emirates, one of the world’s fastest growing international airlines, currently serves 135 cities in 76 countries around the globe from its hub in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. It operates 63 passenger flights per week between Dubai and the U.S. Daily services are operated by Boeing 777-300ER or 777-200LR aircraft from Houston, San Francisco, Dallas/Fort Worth, Seattle, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and a triple daily service (including two daily A380 flights) from JFK in New York. The LAX A380 service begins December 2, 2013 and Emirates’ Boston route will begin service on March 10, 2014. Emirates Skywards is the award-winning frequent flyer program of Emirates. For more information on the airline or to join Emirates Skywards, visit www.emirates.com.

* Elevate members will be able to earn points on Emirates beginning today (October 21, 2013) Reward bookings using points on Emirates available fromOctober 24, 2013.

**Emirates flights from Boston start on March 10, 2014.

***Terms and Conditions:  No purchase necessary.  Open only U.S. residents 21 and older.  Employees of Virgin America Inc., Emirates, Atlantis the Palm, as well as the spouse, parents, siblings, and children, and household members of each such employee, are not eligible.  Sponsor:  Virgin America Inc., 555 Airport Blvd., Burlingame, CA 94010. Begins: at 12:00:01 a.m. Pacific Time ["PT"] on October 21 2013, and ends at 11:59:59 p.m. PT on November 21 2013. No cash or other substitution may be made, except by Sponsor, who reserves the right to substitute prize (or component thereof) with another prize (or component thereof) of equal or greater value if the prize is not available for any reason as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion.  The winner is responsible for any taxes and fees associated with receipt or use of the prize.  For complete Official Rules, including entry instructions and prize details, visit [http://www.virginamerica.com/html/pdf/131015_emirates_woobox_sweepstakes_tc.pdf]

SOURCE  Virgin America

Photo:http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090123/VIRGINAMERICALOGO
http://photoarchive.ap.org/
Photo:http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131021/AQ00715
http://photoarchive.ap.org/
Virgin America

CONTACT: Jennifer Thomas, Virgin America, +1-650-274-7329jennifer.thomas@virginamerica.com, or Arielle Himy, Emirates, +1-646-500-7761,arielle.himy@mslgroup.com

Web Site: http://www.emirates.com/

Assignment Desk for Monday Morning, September 23rd, 2013 – Octavia Strike, Emirates Air, Bicycle Stings…

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

1. Hey, is a there a cracking large picket line* of construction workers at San Francisco’s failed Octavia “Boulevard” and Haight Street going on these days? Hell yes! Does it get started early in the AM? Apparently. Does it go 24-7? IDK. Does it sometime go around the block where a new building is going in?? Yes, with some people visible at Octavia and Market. This one writes itself, people!

2. Is there an empty jumbo jet from Emirates Airline just sitting around at SFO, just waiting to take Emirates Team New Zealand back Down Under except, uh oh, the team just can’t get its ninth victory in the America’s Cup Finals? Is it bad juju to plan on winning like this? (Some on the Team think so.) Or is it good planning? IDK. Anyway, I’d be looking for a big old honking Airbus A380 or a late-model Boeing 777. I mean, Emirates flies out of SFO all the time (they want to be the “hub for the world” and they just might make it someday) but they don’t have scheduled flights to NZ, that’s for sure. (Perhaps they always have a plane available for standby IDK)

3. The media covering the 34th America’s Cup boat race had no freaking idea that this debacle could go on for so long so they’ve lost their hotel reservations to the hard-charging Oracle OpenWorld convention? Isn’t it ironic, dontcha think? How is the AC having an economic impact if the town is full? What about the poor kiwi fans? Are they sleeping on couches these days? What about their plane tickets home?

4. The penalty for going outside of the America’s Cup rubric (basically meaning going straight to the New York Supreme Court, which confusingly is not the highest in that state) is that you lose the Cup. Well, if Larry Ellison has already lost the Auld Mug, say by next week, say by a very narrow margin, well then Katie bar the door. Remember the cheating penalty came from the International Jury that was set up by one LE and it was meant to punish not just the cheating but the environment allowed by management that is associated with the actions of all those people who were involved. LE has been involved in four ACs and he’s lost two of them so far. The time that he won he won in court, oh well. Oh and is there some international tax situation going on with Team NZ? Something to do with where certain people earn their pay. Maybe the International Jury will hear about this before this Cup ends? Just a rumour, Love.

5. Folsom Street inbound at 6th has been “improved” by SFGov in the recent past? Compare it with Folsom at 5th and Folsom at Fourth. I believe the yellow zebra stripes are au currant these days so that’s a clue. Now that right-turning truck was supposed to have pulled into the right lane, but is it a full lane? No it’s not. It’s been narrowed by the pedestrian bulb-out on the south side of the intersection, the place where that cyclist recently died in a collision. Did the bulb-out contribute to that death? Are bulb-outs bad for cyclists? Are they good for peds? Anyway, we don’t hear about similar deaths at old-school, unimproved 5th and Folsom…

6. The bicycle “sting” operations of citing cyclists for using the SFBC-approved Wiggle Route in the Lower Haight are back, baby. I don’t know if it’s every day that they do this, but last week two motorcycle cops had field days (as in more than one day, like on 9-17 and 9-20 for sure). Officer R. Scott parks his motorcycle and then points to all those people coming up from Duboce Park “1,2,3,4,5,6,” he says. Then everybody has to wait until he processes all the tickets for blowing the stop sign at Waller and Steiner, for instance. He says he’d rather be out answering the calls he gets on his radio, like an alleged hammer attack. Then he’ll talk about his Porsche. He’s extremely chill. So The CW Nevius and Stanley Roberts have been out there the past year, but the past week, well it’s been pretty intense, a renewed effort. I thought that the SFPD was giving up on this.

Ready steady go!

* What in the Hell is this, from

Historic Context Statement
Market and Octavia Neighborhood Plan Area
San Francisco, California?

http://www.sf-planning.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=4688

Our Planning Department planned Octavia for picket lines???

“Picket lines, for instance, are a spatial expression of a labor grievance.”

WTF is this?

Hey, why not plan for the 24-7 traffic jam that’s there now? Why not plan for the traffic deaths _you_ caused, Planning Dept? Why not cancel left turns on Market and Octavia, you know to increase transit speed at the expense of the wealthy car drivers who live in Hayes Valley?

Anyway, have at it:

“Since labor conflict, whether internal or external, is often expressed in spatial terms, the built
environment of the workplace must be seen as an integral factor in the understanding of labor
disputes. Picket lines, for instance, are a spatial expression of a labor grievance. The questions of
precisely where picketers may or may not stand, whether they may block an entrance, how closely
they can approach ongoing work activities, and who may cross the line, are fundamental in the
conduct and resolution of a dispute. Contestation of these issues can lead to physical confrontations
or criminal penalties, and may determine the outcome of the conflict.
The relatively small scale of the built environment in the Industrial Employment Study Area had
advantages for strike activities. Picketers could assemble on public sidewalks immediately adjacent to
the business being struck, rather than being kept at a distance by fences or buffer zones on company
property. Likewise, the limited number of entrances to most of the buildings made it easier for
strikers to monitor access and inform visitors that the business was being struck. More generally, the
absence of street setbacks and the open design of the buildings allowed for easy surveillance of the
workplace. With the vehicular doors open, an observer could survey the entire shop in many of these
buildings. This facilitated monitoring who was working and what work was being done—valuable
information for union organizing or the conduct of a strike, as well as for individuals seeking work.
175 The term “open shop” refers to a situation where union membership is not a requirement for employment. In practice,
it generally describes conditions in which union membership actually disqualifies one for employment.
176 The term CIO originally stood for the Committee on Industrial Organization, a subgroup within the AFL. In 1937, the
group was expelled from the AFL. From that time until the two merged in 1955, CIO stood for Congress of Industrial
Unions. Since the merger, the resulting organization is known as the AFL/CIO.
177 The ACWA and ILGWU belonged to the “social unionism” wing of the CIO. Within th

Here’s an Explanation of How the America’s Cup Rules are Being Changed, In The Name of Safety, to Benefit Larry Ellison

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

“OR can quite legitimately claim that they need this change to improve the safety of their boat to acceptable levels. ETNZ/LR can quite legitimately claim that the issue is created by design choices.”

When you’re foiling a catamaran, you’re generating lift just like an airplane. The Emirates Team New Zealand yacht generates more lift with the forward element than the rear. The Oracle Racing Larry Ellison yacht does so as well but it gets a bit more lift from the rear compared with ETNZ.

So, ETNZ is more like a regular airplane with  a small tail and OR is more like this goofy thing:

Mandating a bigger tail for all comers in the name of safety is a way for the Larry Ellison America’s Cup people to gain an advantage for Larry Ellison and/or Artemis Racing, the team with the other failed design,

Let’s hear from Hump101, a poster at Sailing Anarchy:

“ETNZ have a boat that is almost entirely supported on its single main foil. The rudder provides very little lift, just control forces, which are relatively small. As speed changes, lift changes. The main foil is correspondingly adjusted, as this is allowed, so the lift remains as  required. The lift on the rudder changes, but since this force is relatively small, the change in attitude on the boat is not problematic, and the local effects of free surface and small size provide a natural limit to motions. When it goes wrong, the boat will pivot about its main foil, potentially creating a high bow down pitch angle, so they’ve included sufficient buoyancy in the bows to cope.

OR have a boat where the lift is shared between the main foil and the rudder. The amount of lift provided by the rudder is still a small proportion of the total, but the rudder lift force is large compared to the rudder control force. As speed changes, lift changes. The main foil is correspondingly adjusted, but the rudder isn’t. The change in force on the rudder is significant, and affects the attitude of the boat. A small rudder foil that is required to provide a lot of lift can only do so with a large angle of attack, so with a fixed angle, a large change in trim of the boat is required, hence poor control. When it goes wrong, the boat pivots about the rudder foil, and hence a reduced bow down pitch angle, and hence the boat can have lower volume bows to allow recovery.

I’m sure both teams have simulated both approaches. ETNZ decided that they would go for the former, at a price of bigger main foil, lower righting moment, and more aero drag, so they have better control over a wide range of speeds for a given rudder setting. OR decided on the latter as it provides a lower drag solution, but for a smaller range of speeds for a given rudder setting. Boat 1 was an extreme example of this, but boat 2 is less extreme.

However, OR have found that the range of speeds over which they have good control is too small using the maximum size of rudder foil allowed. Hence, when they are running in the narrow speed range, they look good, but as soon as this is not the case, they have large pitch angles. Using a larger rudder foil requires less boat trim to generate the change in force, and hence better control.

The problem OR face is if they were to move the main foils further aft and increase their size, they would then have a boat which, if it goes wrong, will not have enough buoyancy in the bow to recover from the large pitch angle that would occur with the bigger main foil. A potentially dangerous solution, and rebuilding the hulls is probably not feasible, since even if they had the time, the added weight is more than their program has in the bank. They aren’t allowed new hulls. Furthermore, they have made corresponding design choices with their wing that also suggest the expectation of a narrow speed range, and moving to a higher drag foil solution would present them with power issues.

I suspect that OR may have been using a larger rudder foil recently to achieve the improvements we’ve been seeing, and consequently they already know that operating with class legal rudder foils is not a safe option for them, since if they set up the small rudder foils for lighter winds, and the winds increase during a race, they will have an unacceptably high probability of pitchpoling.

As such, the move to increase allowed rudder foil size and control is a real issue for OR, as without it they will have to choose between pulling out of certain races when conditions change, or risking the boat and crew by continuing. ETNZ and LR, on the other hand, don’t have this issue, and in fact increasing the rudder foil size on their boats would not only increase drag, but also create control problems due to the size of the control force generated becoming too large. 

Hence the current dichotomy  OR can quite legitimately claim that they need this change to improve the safety of their boat to acceptable levels. ETNZ/LR can quite legitimately claim that the issue is created by design choices. Since the AC is not just a design and sailing competition, but a design, sailing, and legal competition, we’ll have to wait and see who has the best overall package.

And then, in response to a question about how the engineer knows all this:

“Because when the OR boat is in the water, its static waterline, combined with its visible hullform when on a crane, shows that the vessel CoG is well aft of the main foil location. On the ETNZ boat, this is not the case. Their main foil is about where the CoG appears to be (actually slightly forward, but not by much).

As such, the resulting moment generated by the offset between main lifting foil vector and sum of sailing force vector on OR requires the rudder foil to provide a significant lifting force, plus also to provide the dynamic positive and negative control force, whilst on ETNZ the rudder foil provide very little lift force, just the control force element.”

So that’s why this is a lot of horseshit and this could be in the near future of this attempt at an America’s Cup yachting match.

America’s Cup Update: Team New Zealand Protests “Last-Minute Proposals” Favoring Larry Ellison in the “Name of Safety”

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Looks like things aren’t all rosy in Larry Ellison’s already-failed America’s Cup 2013 yacht match.

Let’s hear the news of the day from straight-talking New Zealand nerd Russell Green:

“I cannot help wondering how the All Blacks [New Zealand national rugby union team] would feel arriving at the World Cup in UK in 2015 to find that there were last minute proposals to change basic rules of the game in the name of player’s safety but which in effect favoured the slower stop/start style of the Northern Hemisphere teams?”

Here’s the whole thing:

“Emirates Team New Zealand’s rules advisor Russell Green blogs about moving goal posts and the negotiations ahead.

Last Wednesday was my first day working in San Francisco and we were called to a meeting late in the afternoon by regatta director, Iain Murray, who presented his recommendations from the work of the Review Committee. Present were the key members of the teams, the event authority and Louis Vuitton.

Iain Murray, who distributed the report and then worked through the document explaining all the relevant points, looked tired. It was clear there had been some long hours worked by Review Committee in the previous six days, an amazing job in such a short time.

The teams, especially Artemis, had various questions but there was little time to digest the information as former Oracle Racing COO Stephen Barclay, who now heads the Event Authority (ACEA), revealed the document had already been made public. It was straight back to the base for Grant Dalton to talk to the team about the content and how we would deal with the upcoming work which, inevitably, be required.

It is daunting to arrive at the venue after years of planning to find the “goalposts moving” so late in the campaign, long after design decisions have been made based on the anticipated windy conditions in San Francisco.

Yet another challenge for the team. I cannot help wondering how the All Blacks [New Zealand national rugby union team] would feel arriving at the World Cup in UK in 2015 to find that there were last minute proposals to change basic rules of the game in the name of player’s safety but which in effect favoured the slower stop/start style of the Northern Hemisphere teams?

The recommendations are general, the task now facing the event and the teams is for these general recommendations to be converted in to specific rules of the event, a process which needs to be dealt with quickly so the US Coast Guard can be satisfied on safety and issue its event permit.

Many will require discussion amongst the teams and ACRM, responsible for the race management. Currently there is a high degree of goodwill and co-operation in the interests of ensuring safety but there will inevitably be differences during the process, as the teams all have different competitive strengths which they wish to protect.

The most contentious issues for ETNZ are the reduction in the wind limits and the prospect of flexible starting times.

The recommended reduction of the upper wind limits is more than we would have liked, but we always knew the 33 knot upper limit was not practical. It has been explained to us that the flexible starting time regime, intended for use in the windier conditions in the LVC, would involve the starting time only being brought forward when ACRM was sure that the wind speed would be over the upper limit at the scheduled start time.

This will clearly need the input and cooperation of the teams and we have made a proposal how this could work.

Modifications will be required to the various rule documents which govern the event. Changes to the Protocol and the Racing Rules require agreement from the majority of the teams, changes to the Class Rule requires the unanimous consent of the teams as does a document called the Newport Agreement which stipulates the format, schedule and start times of racing.

Thursday was a day of digestion and analysis ashore while our AC72 went for a sail and the external rule change process started on Friday with a three-hour meeting involving the four team’s rules advisors and ACRM.

Agreement was reached on which rule document would need to be modified to accommodate each recommendation and the next steps required.

Next there will be a series of meetings early in the coming week. I will join Jeremy Lomas and Chris Salthouse at a meeting on crew safety equipment, structural engineer Gio Belgrano at a meeting on structural issues, and Dean Barker at a skippers’ meeting to consider changes to the racing rules in the start area.

There will also be a need to work with technical director Nick Holroyd and his design team on the negotiations on the draft Class Rule changes which we are expecting from the Chief Measurer, Nick Nicholson.

A busy week coming up, but in the meantime the sailing will go on…”

Ah MUNI, You Were So Close to Having a Sweet Belly Button Stud on This Bus Ad

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

I don’t know, if this ad had been laid out ever so slightly differently, the four metal studs on the back of this MUNI bus would be aligned so as not to detract from The Message:

Click to expand

Of course, nothing beats Robo-Chauffeur from Emirates Airline. Sometimes his light would start blinking. Good times:


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.

Emirates Airlines Launches Non-Stop Service from SFO to the Middle East

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

From yesterday, here it is at SFO: a brand spanking new Emirates Boeing 777-200 LR (Longer Range) straight out of Dubai, on a non-stop flight that lasted almost two-thirds of a day. Click to expand:

Captain Marc, after having flown part of the flight in from the United Arab Emirates:

And this was the reception, starring His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline:

Gina Antonini, until recently a star athelete at UC Berkeley, addressed the crowd on behalf of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is into the idea of Green Flights. What made this flight green? Lots of things, including a continuous decent over Northern California:

San Francisco International Airport Director John Martin, the aforementioned HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, and Steve Kava, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Chief of Staff, all fielded questions at the presser:

And look who’s asking questions – it’s pugnacious New York Times aviation repoter Joe Sharkey, who seemed to be in pretty good shape despite the efforts of the Brazilian aviation system to kill him a few years back. (For now and forever, Nobody Leans on Sharkey’s Machine.)

The mood was jovial, despite the concerns expressed by Mssrs. Matier and Ross, Ashley Harrell and KGO-TV:

Speaking of which, Emirates released a pretty emphatic statement this afternoon:

“Emirates is in full compliance with the laws of the city of San Francisco, the state of California and the United States. Emirates is also in compliance with the Human Rights Commission.
 
Emirates does not discriminate in hiring in any way, including hiring based on sexual orientation, hiring of single pregnant women or hiring based on weight.  We require our cabin crew employees to undergo a medical evaluation to confirm their ability to meet the requirements of the physically-demanding job, but we do not discriminate in hiring based on the results of those findings. Our hiring process is based purely on job qualification.
 
Emirates is committed to fair practices in employment and hiring in all countries in which we operate. We look forward to serving the Bay Area community.”
 
Boutros M. Boutros
Senior Vice President, Media Relations, Sponsorships and Events
Emirates Group

So, smiles everyone, smiles!:

Let’s say good bye to Boeing’s big twin…

…as it travels up through Canada, over the pole and down Russia way.

Thursday’s flight is already fully booked, so it looks like EK225 / EK 226 will be a success at SFO.

And if that pans out, maybe we’ll see the A380 superjumbo back at SFO on a regular basis.

Will Dubai become the Hub of Everything? Only Time Will Tell.

More nitty gritty after the jump.

(more…)

The Happy, Robotic Chauffeurs of Emirates Airlines

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

If you fly First or Business Class on Emirates, a mechanical robot will be happy to pick you up and take you to SFO for free. You’ll know he’s ready for you when the yellow light embedded in his forehead turns on.

At least that’s the way things seem after seeing this creepy MUNI bus ad.

Click to expand:

Of course, things could be worse.

San Francisco’s Sutro Tower on a Foggy Day

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches          5
and then moves on.

Carl Sandburg

go8f0433-copy.jpg

The formerly-controversial Sutro Tower, as seen from the northwest through the window of an Emirates Airbus A380 super jumbo jet.  

See the entire Sutro Tower mise-en-scene here, courtesy of Telstar Logistics’ Todd Lappin.