Jeritilley www.qualitysparesort.com

Posts tagged “aircraft

Worse service on the airlines, and more to come

Thought for the day…”The envious man grows lean at the success of his neighbour.”

“Hope is such a bait, it covers any hook.”

It is amazing that so many people are still choosing to fly with airlines, as a new round of cuts in services are leaked in the press.  The Hong Kong based  Cathay Pacific Airlines has announced that it too will follow the trend and squeeze in 10 across seating on its Boeing 777 services (the aircraft was designed for 9 across, so the change to 10 across will mean even less shoulder room).  There is also talk about going to 11 across onboard the A380, with the same result, less shoulder room for passengers.  And following on from that announcement, it seems that the Lufthansa group will move towards a ‘buy on board’ system for food.   It is being trialed at the moment, and apparently SWISS airlines (part of the Lufthansa group) are also going to trial a buy on board system.    Here is an example of one of the ‘meals’ that was served on a Lufthansa flight not long ago…about 100g of cheese and bread.   No plate, no meat and no other food.

So even before they start charging for food onboard, then they had almost cut out the included ‘meals’.  Earlier there was the news that British Airways were going to reduce the seating pitch onboard, meaning that their passengers would have LESS leg room than those on Ryanair.    And Lufthansa have also followed the trend by squeezing in more passengers on their new Airbus A320 NEO aircraft.   They have also removed one of the toilets (to fit in more seats) and made the remaining toilet even smaller.   Less leg room, less shoulder room and now even less food onboard.     The airlines mileage/frequent flyer programmes have been devalued so much that they are now virtually worthless, so the question is, is there any point now to choose one of the original airlines over the budget alternatives? Seems not.   You often have to pay for checked-in baggage, advance seat selection and a higher basic ticket price on thee traditional airlines anyway.    So why choose them?????

In most other businesses, giving a poorer service would usually drive people away, but it seems that the airlines are an exception.   Poorer service now, but still increasing numbers of people wanting to fly.  One thing is sure, the airlines that have increased the seating to 10 across on their 777s will not be seeing me onboard.   The limit has been passed.  Economy class has become a test of endurance, and is far from a pleasure now.

Staying with the theme of aviation, a photo that is now history, an AirNewZealand 747, seen here at Brisbane airport in Australia in 2004

and another photo from the archives….a local man in Southern Oman….

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RESPECT, CONSIDERATION, FAIRNESS.


Classics of aviation – Mandeville, New Zealand

Thought for the day…”You will never know your limits until you push yourself to them”.

“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time”.

Driving down to the south part of the South Island of New Zealand, you might come across some traces of the past.   Down at a small settlement called Mandeville, there is a small airfield, home of the Croydon Aviation Trust.  Here they restore old aircraft, and also train pilots to fly them.    The old hangars are still there, and inside them you will see aircraft being restored using traditional methods, such as carpentry and dope on fabric.  Mandeville was originally a wet area (=alcohol allowed), whereas nearby Gore Town was a dry area (=no alcohol allowed), which might be the reason that the airstrip prospered.     Enough aircraft and flying machines in the hangars to make a stop worthwhile if you are in the area.   Another nice feature is that you can actually go for pleasure flights in the aircraft, including the open cockpit Tiger Moth or the DH89 Rapide.   A trip down back to the past !!

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Warbirds Over Wanaka – the preparations

Thought for the day…”The Wright Brothers created the single greatest cultural force since the invention of writing. The airplane became the first World Wide Web, bringing people, languages, ideas, and values together.”  (Bill Gates)

It is almost time again for the Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow, held around Easter every 2nd year.    Today there were a few historic aircraft at the airport in Wanaka, so I had to stop and take a few photos.   Sadly the weather forecast is not good for the next few days, but hopefully it will improve enough to get some better pictures.    Ticket prices for the airshow have shot up over the last few shows, which might be one reason why the number of people visiting the airshow has gone down to about half of what it was previously.   A few photos from today…..starting with the Vought Corsair…..followed by the Curtis Kittyhawk…..

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Last light of the day….from above

Thought for the day…”I’ll try anything once, twice if I like it, and three times to make sure” (Mae West).

“Sex is emotion in motion”  (Mae West).

Up in the air……Who is the biggest?  The largest airline in the world (in terms of revenue, profit and fleet size) is the American Airlines group.   In terms of passengers, Delta is the world’s biggest private airline, with around 129 million passengers a year.   Emirates Airlines (UAE) is government owned, but their revenue last year was around USD 24.2 BILLION.  It used to be fun at one time, but now the security checks, check-in procedures and overcrowded airports have certainly taken the gloss away.    I often wonder who actually votes for the airlines that ‘win’ the awards for the world’s best airlines, but Singapore Airlines get my vote…..as does Singapore Airport (SIN) for the world’s best airport.    Norway’s Oslo (OSL) airport certainly deserves an award, not for comfort or for convenience, but for the lack of facilities and unpleasant surroundings.    Every time that I fly into or out of OSL I am struck by what a DISGRACE it is for Norway.  It does not get any better either.

Work means that I fly more than I would like but occasionally there are some perks….like this sunset last month, seen from an aircraft window in Norway….

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and another photo from the archives…an unlucky weekend motorist (Ferrari) gets a ticket in Stockholm, Sweden….

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Two from Madeira – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Be careful when reading health books.  You may die of a misprint”.

” The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work”.

Despite being known for difficult approaches, the pilot of this Hungarian-registered 737 had no problems landing at Funchal Airport, Madeira.    In the background one of the Islas Desertas is visible, one of several islands that make up the group in Madeira (with the island of Porto Santo being the second largest).   Some those onboard the aircraft will be heading towards the capital, Funchal, whose old streets are in the second photo.   Whilst there, they may sample one of the local special drinks, called Nikita, a mixture of white wine, beer, ice-cream, pineapple and sugar or hike up to the highest point on the island at 1818m.   Although officially part of Portugal, the islands are semi-autonomous, and benefit from a fantastic year-round climate.  Around 265 000 people live in Madeira, although it receives around 1 million tourists a year, mostly from the European Union (especially Germany, the UK and Scandinavia).

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Queen of the Skies leaves Zurich – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” When opportunity knocks, please answer the door.  Don’t keep asking who it is”.

”  Your trust account is more important than your bank account”.

Another photo today of the ‘Queen of the Skies’, the Boeing 747.   The 747 series has now logged more than 77.8 BILLION kilometres, which is the equivalent of 101,500 trips to the moon and back.   An estimated 5.6 billion people (or 80% of the world’s population) are said to have flown in a 747.   The aircraft in the photo, the 747 400 series has around 274km of wiring in it, and can fly up to 13 500km non-stop.  It can carry 215,745 litres of fuel.  Interestingly, the Wright brothers’ first flight could have been performed within the length of the economy section of this aircraft (45m).   The photo shows a departure from Zurich, Switzerland bound for Singapore Changi, a distance of 10 318km.  This service has now been replaced by a daily Airbus A380.   Zurich airport, apart from being a pleasant airport to fly from, is also very photographer-friendly, even arranging special trips to the best photo spots around the airport.

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Commercial success, the 737 aircraft – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…..” If you do not fight for what you want, then do not cry for what you lost”.

” A dream is not what you see in your sleep, it is the thing that does not let you sleep”.

Another aircraft photo for the picture today, and a 737 of Caribbean Airlines.   The 737 has proved to be an extremely popular aircraft, and was the first aircraft to receive more than 10 000 orders.   Sales have risen to over 11 150 aircraft.  The newer versions of this aircraft, the 737 NG (next generation) are as wide as they are long, so it is known as the ‘square aircraft’.    Each 737 NG has around 67 km of wire inside it, and an estimated total of 600 000 parts in each aircraft.  It takes around 189 litres of paint to paint an average 737, the paint alone adding an extra 113 kg to the weight of the aircraft.   The aircraft has sold so well that on average, there are 2000 737s in the air at any given time, and one 737 takes off or lands every 2 seconds.  And to buy one… around USD 93 million.

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Ethiopia travel – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder’.                       ”   The Earth is the insane asylum for the universe”

No prizes for guessing the destination of the photo today……easy one.    With sometimes very slow local transport, then air is the easy way to travel around Ethiopia.    Ethiopia was the birthplace of coffee, and now it is the arabica coffees that are the most important crops for many farmers.   Due to the big differences in climate and altitude in Ethiopia, coffee is grown in 4 different zones.   Coffee is the most important export for Ethiopia, and the coffee industry is a major employer.   Often visitors to a home are welcomed with a traditional coffee ceremony, where the beans are roasted in a large wok-like pan before making the good, fresh coffee.   Most of the coffee beans in commercial production are dried in the sun for 3 to 4 weeks, which is said to give a much better taste over machine dried beans.   Ethiopian coffees also have less caffeine in them, as lightly roasted coffees contain less caffeine than dark-roasted ones.   The coffee tree is actually related to the cherry tree.    Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world (oil is first).     So a combination of great scenery, good coffee and interesting culture, make Ethiopia a great place to visit.

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Lift off, Queen of the Skies – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Life is a gift.  Are you going to unwrap it or leave it in the box”

”  Beauty only gets attention but personality captures the heart”.

An estimated 6 million parts go into the making of the 747 jumbo jet, half of them being fasteners.  It has around 274 km of wiring and about 8km of tubing.   The tail of a 747 is about the same height as a 6 storey building.  When it was first built, around 75 000 engineering drawings were used.    The 747 series has been extremely sucessful, and has logged around 78 billion kilometres in flight, equivalent to about 102 000 return trips to the Moon, and is said to have carried around 5.6 billion passengers in total.    Newer models of the 747 can carry over 240 000 litres of fuel.   Interesting that the Wright brothers first flight  could have been performed within the 45m length of the economy cabin of a 747.   The 747 400 seen in this photo is departing from Curacao in the Caribbean for the flight back to Amsterdam.  My experience of KLM is that they are no longer a good airline,  with poor service, poor aircraft interiors and poor customer service.  Whilst they may have been good at one time, I stopped using them a long time ago.  They have been overtaken by other airlines, and I do not recommend them.

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Tropical Paradise, warm water & soft sand – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Sometimes you have to take a leap at life and build your wings on the way down”.          ” When in doubt, do without”

” There is no use in running fast when you are on the wrong road”.

In my inbox today was an email from an airline (a good one too) advertising some special offers on their new Dreamliner aircraft.  Given that the very same aircraft is in the international news again today (after another fire), it was perhaps unfortunate timing to send out these emails !!.  Confidence in the safety of that aircraft must be at an all time low now, and I am in no hurry to fly onboard it.   And a Thomson Dreamliner flying from the UK to the USA has also diverted and returned to the UK as well.  Bring back the 747 I say, until Boeing can sort the Dreamliner out and get rid of all the problems.

Off to the Caribbean for the photo today and to the island of Curacao.   Little Knep beach is the place in the photo and another busy day by the look of it.    Water and air temperature were near perfect here.  Curacao is now an independent country, after being part of the Netherlands Antilles up to 2010, and is home to around 162 000 people.    Tourism, financial services, oil and international trade are the main industries here.  Venezuela is only about 60km away from Curacao.

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