tip off

BEN SANDILANDS | February 11, 2016 | FINANCIAL ANALYSIS | 10 |

Virgin Australia’s numbers are less about cheap fuel than you thought

From April, Virgin Australia’s boutique fleet of 777s gets new premium cabins

In the big picture of its half yearly financial results released this morning Virgin Australia has managed to lift fares and operating efficiency to levels that go way above the net exchange rate adjusted benefits of cheaper fuel.

BEN SANDILANDS | February 11, 2016 | FINANCIAL RESULTS | 13 |

Virgin Australia drops five E-190s, lifts profits as previously announced

Virgin Australia’s CEO John Borghetti delivered a powerful profit boost today

While Virgin Australia confirmed the good news of soaring profits in its half yearly results posted this morning, five of its unusually comfortable Embraer E-190s have been chopped.

BEN SANDILANDS | February 11, 2016 | AIRLINER DESIGNS | 4 |

The latest version of the A350 is on time, so far

Taking shape in Toulouse, the largest version of the A350 yet confirmed

The somewhat gradual appearance in the skies of the Airbus A350-900 since late 2014 has been enlivened overnight by a glimpse of the next version, the A350-1000.

BEN SANDILANDS | February 10, 2016 | AIR CRASHES | 2 |

MH370 search recovers sunk towfish from side of volcano

Found on the side of a seamount, the missing towfish

The MH370 seafloor search SW of Western Australia has retrieved the sonar scanning towfish from its resting place on the side of an underwater volcano that it inadvertently struck earlier this year.

BEN SANDILANDS | February 10, 2016 | AIRLINER DESIGNS | 12 |

For your future pleasure or pain, the first A321 NEO has flown

Quieter, more efficient, but possibly not more comfortable, the first A321 NEO flies.

Whether you, the passenger, will like it or not, the largest version of the Airbus A320 NEO family has taken to the skies for the first time.

BEN SANDILANDS | February 09, 2016 | CARBON RELATED | 7 |

Budget carrier easyJet plans to turn Airbuses into Priuses

An easyJet A319, maybe not so easy on the eyes in its new livery

An easyJet/Cranfield University proposal to use a hydrogen fuel cell to haul its jets around taxiways to save fuel and fossil carbon emissions comes with numbers that could mean big savings on short haul routes like Sydney-Melbourne.

BEN SANDILANDS | February 07, 2016 | AIR SAFETY | 16 |

Passenger video gives inside view of ATC screw up at Melbourne Airport

The head on lights of one Qantas 737 from inside another in Melbourne ATC stuff up

*Updated with YouTube link ABC News, and possibly the commercial networks, will tonight air an inflight passenger video of a set of near collisions involving two Qantas 737s and an Emirates 777 at Melbourne Airport last July.

BEN SANDILANDS | February 07, 2016 | AIR CRASHES | 2 |

A video reminder that the redone Pel-Air report is now due

A frame from the Pel-Air recovery YouTube

A reader has sent us this link to a YouTube of the recovery late last year of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from the sea floor wreckage of the Pel-Air Westwind jet that was ditched near Norfolk Island in November 2009.

BEN SANDILANDS | February 06, 2016 | SPACE | 7 |

The moon man who believed in aliens has died

Edgar Mitchell, who walked on the moon during the Apollo 14 mission, has died on the 45th anniversary of his landing with Alan Shepard on the Fra Mauro site on the lunar highlands.

BEN SANDILANDS | February 04, 2016 | FINANCIAL RESULTS | 3 |

Virgin Australia: Fewer passengers but higher profits in 2nd quarter

Fewer passengers, more $$$, Virgin’s Q2 story

Less continues to be more for Virgin Australia Holdings. The group’s second quarter has continued its first quarter profit recovery, while flying fewer passengers but making more money.

BEN SANDILANDS | February 03, 2016 | AIRLINER DESIGNS | 37 |

WSJ: Boeing plans early 737 MAX deliveries, plus future new wing

A better photo of the 737 MAX 8 making its first flight

The Wall Street Journal says Boeing may deliver the 737 MAX to customers much sooner than previously intended and has plans to give its new tech single aisle family a better wing, higher undercarriage and bigger engine further down the track.

BEN SANDILANDS | February 01, 2016 | LOW COST CARRIERS | 3 |

Tigerair Australia: First we take Bali, then Berlin

The first repainted, reallocated, re-re announced Tiger 737-800

There was a bit more to today’s unveiling of the first Tigerair Australia 737-800, which has been reallocated to it from owner Virgin Australia’s fleet than was officially re-announced.

BEN SANDILANDS | January 31, 2016 | AIR SAFETY | 8 |

News goes ga-ga over year old MH370 news

The cruel sea beneath which the durable wreckage of MH370 lies

The News organisation definition of ‘exclusive’ when it comes to MH370 appears to be reporting news that is more than a year old.

BEN SANDILANDS | January 30, 2016 | AIRLINER DESIGNS | 5 |

Boeing’s MAX fuel saver flies high as oil stay low

The first 737 MAX 8 lifts off in Seattle

The 737 MAX 8, Boeing’s answer to a fuel price crisis that no longer exists, flew for the first time through gloomy Seattle skies today, but there were good reasons for its executives and flight test crew to be smiling for the post landing press conference.

BEN SANDILANDS | January 29, 2016 | AIR CRASHES | 24 |

China sends hi-tech ship to MH370 search zone

The ship which should bring the sharpest and deepest eyes to the search

China is sending a ship with ultra deep-sea sonar scanning equipment to the MH370 search zone in the south Indian Ocean.

BEN SANDILANDS | January 29, 2016 | ROUTES | 14 |

Emirates comes in fast with world’s longest flight to Auckland

The clipped wing version of the Emirates 777-200LR, a design conundrum?

Normally Emirates flags its new routes a year or more in advance. But Dubai-Auckland, no way, it’s starting on 2 March, daily, with Boeing 777-200LRs and will become the world’s longest non-stop scheduled passenger flight.

BEN SANDILANDS | January 29, 2016 | DEALS | 15 |

Airbus ends A380 drought with Iran Air deal

Laden with cash, the Airbus fleet does the Tehran banking run

Updated*  The not-quite-comprehensive ending of sanctions against Iran has also ended the Airbus A380 sales drought, with Iran Air signing for 12 of the biggest passenger jet flying.

BEN SANDILANDS | January 28, 2016 | AIR SAFETY | 8 |

Vanuatu to lose its last Aussie jet as Virgin leaves

Port Vila airport minus jets

The failed state of Vanuatu’s shoddy runway at the Bauerfield, Port Vila airport has finally become evident to Virgin Australia, which like Qantas and its main shareholder, Air New Zealand, is now taking its jets home until things get fixed.