The collapsed aerobridge was one of two aerobridges at boarding gate D6 at the airport's terminal two, Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) says. Preliminary investigations indicate that the bridge's column and wheel frame had separated, resulting in the bridge collapsing, says the CAA.Before you say this post is useless without photos, have a look at the fallen jetbridge here. (And if you were there or saw the jetbridge on the ground, let me know.)
June 2010 Archives
Its chairman, Wang Zheng Hua (above), has a blog on the carrier's website - which is pretty amazing, given how tight-lipped Chinese airlines usually are, may it be online or off. Despite the growing use of social media by businesses, the Chinese aviation industry has been slow to cotton on to blogs and Twitter.
Wang's blog has become a forum of sorts for customers to express their opinions of the airline, and some of these opinions can be well, pretty strongly-worded (such as the customer who ranted about a bad experience with the carrier, ending his posting with "rubbish!" in Mandarin). Spring, however, looks to be taking these comments in stride - its customer service team replies to each and every single comment on the blog, with each staff member signing off with an identification number in case a customer wants to follow up on the matter.
Spring might be in the shadow of China's big three airlines (it had a 1.2% market share in 2009) but its sincerity makes you hope it will succeed.
Lockheed Martin's decision to scale down its participation at this year's Farnborough Airshow, therefore, holds a lesson for Asian countries.
The biennial Singapore Airshow and Asian Aerospace (the commercial-only show in Hong Kong) attempt reach out to the wider regional markets. In Asia, possibly only India (where Aero India in Bangalore and Indian Aviation in Hyderabad take turns) and China (Zhuhai Airshow) can justify having country-specific shows due to the size of the aerospace market in those countries.
Yet, we also have smaller events being held either annually or once every two years in Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Australia and even tiny Brunei. Japan Aerospace takes place once every four years.
Surely, it is time for the organisers of these shows to review their plans and take into account the "new reality" that Lockheed is talking about. The industry's budget is being stretched, and it makes less sense to commit to so many events.
Perhaps, it is time for the event organisers to come together and coalesce around one or two big regional events. Otherwise, the industry may just do it for them. Lockheed have begun.
New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport is set to open its new terminal three on 14 July. The 5.4 million sq ft complex will put it ahead of Seoul's Incheon, Tokyo's Narita (terminal one) and Singapore's Changi (terminal three), say the folks at Indira Gandhi.
So just how big is this new terminal? Some figures to chew on:
- Passenger capacity: 34 million passengers per year
- Number of levels: Nine
- Number of boarding gates: 48
- Number of aerobridges: 78 (including some for the A380's upper deck)
- Number of travellators: 92
- Number of check-in counters: 168
- Total length of all conveyor belts: 7km (which can handle 12,800 bags per hour)
- Number of x-ray machines: 41
- Number of flight information display systems: 800
- Capacity of airport's carpark: 4,300 cars
The carrier unveiled their new iPad kiosks today, found at MAS' ticket office in downtown Kuala Lumpur. "It is as simple as ABC. You select your itinerary, pay with a credit card, and receive confirmation via SMS and email. There is no printing and no admin fee," says MAS' managing director and CEO Azmil Zahruddin.
MAS worked with IT specialist SITA on the kiosks, and the two also partnered on an upcoming iPhone application that passengers can use to locate their nearest airports and view the flight deals from those airports.
As SITA's chief technology officer Jim Peters puts it: "It's a fun and interactive way to choose your destination, book a ticket and then fly."
Okay, it has admittedly been some time since I flew on Thai Airways. And I am pretty sure that the food must be decent (even good, perhaps).
But surely, the last thing that you want when you get back home after a long flight is to, well, taste more of the same airline food? Maybe it is just me, but airline food is just not something I look forward to when I am on the ground.
It looks like Bombardier has finally realised that it needs to do more with product support in Asia.
The Canadian aircraft-maker announced yesterday that it plans to get Fokker Services to support its Dash 8 and Q-series aircraft around the globe. The only exception is that Bombardier will continue to keep Q400 product support because this aircraft - unlike the others - is still in production.Bombardier says it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Fokker Services and plans to sign a firm deal later this year.
This is a global deal but it has particular significance in Asia, where Bombardier's major turboprop competitor ATR has pretty much been capturing the market. But having Fokker in its camp gives Bombardier a huge boost in Asia.
Fokker may have stopped making aircraft more than a decade ago, but there are still heaps of Fokker aircraft operating in this part of the world and, as a consequence, Fokker has strong relationships with many of the region's carriers.
Fokker also has a maintenance, repair and overhaul centre in Singapore - Fokker Services Asia - that serves the entire region. And it is staffed by a team of product support and sales people, some of which - such as Fokker Services Asia regional director Michael Cole - formerly worked for Bombardier.
Another step that Bombardier is taking to boost its presence in Asia is - and I'm surprised they didn't do it earlier - is to actually have commercial aircraft sales people based in Asia. It already has a few in China but Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Gary Scott says they plan to station commercial aircraft sales people in other parts of Asia starting later this year or next year. "We are living in a global economy and it is hard to manage everything out of Toronto or Montreal," says Scott.
He was talking about how, above almost everything else, JAL needs a change in mindset - moving away from its traditional bureaucratic perspectives towards running the company towards an approach that befits a proper airline.
It will be tough - the "mindset" that he talks about has been entrenched for years, and changing corporate cultures is always a big ask in Japan. Yet, they have no choice. Sure, the government could step in and keep bailing it out. That, however, is becoming increasingly unpalatable in Japan.
As Onishi puts it, only a business and mindset transformation will lead to the emergence of a leaner, profitable and successful Japan Airlines. He may not say it, but the only other option is failure.
It has been a long wait for the aircraft, and it will be a big deal for the airline industry especially if Boeing's promised cost savings come through.
ANA will initially deploy the aircraft on its high yield routes (my best is on the first international flights going to China, although the carrier is saying that the west coast of the USA and Europe are on the cards).
Recovery is underway in the industry, but the new-age aircraft like the 787 will be needed as the airlines restructure their business and get rid of older generation aircraft like the Boeing 767s and Airbus A330s.
The 787 will be a welcome addition to the global airline industry.
Qantas Airways' low-cost subsidiary Jetstar announced today it will trial the iPad on board as in-flight entertainment on selected domestic services from later this month.
Pay A$10 ($8) to rent the iPad, and you get movies, music, e-books, all at your fingertips throughout the flight.
Jetstar's CEO Bruce Buchanan expects the device to have "strong appeal" among passengers, going by the demand for the gadget so far.
Jetstar passengers currently pay A$10 to rent a portable media player on board with limited entertainment options on short-haul flights, or A$15 for a full selection of entertainment on long-haul services.
The airline is conducting the trial with BlueBox Avionics and Stellar Inflight. BlueBox is behind the first iPad in-flight entertainment system.
Depending on how the trial goes, Jetstar might roll out the iPad on all domestic and international services later this year, says Buchanan.