Around the world in 7 days for Virgin blue

September 12, 2007 by admin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Airline News, Travel and Tourism 

John Beveridge
September 12, 2007 12:00am

IT USED to be a race to go around the world in 80 days but Paul Considine has just done it in seven.

And before the year is out the experienced Virgin Blue pilot will have done it twice more.

The reason for his latest extraordinary journey is to deliver the first of what will eventually be 20 Embraer jets flying for the carrier.

To get the plane from its country of origin – Brazil – Paul flew it to Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles.

Then it was on to Texas, Seattle, Anchorage and Petropovlosk in Russia.

A flight to Osaka was followed by Guam then Cairns before finally landing in Brisbane yesterday.

“It was a really great flight, we got to see a lot of the world,” said Paul after he touched down yesterday.

“The whole thing was very interesting — seeing the Amazon from the air and Cuba and the Caribbean.

“Anchorage is a great place for an aviation nut because they have so many different types of plane there because it is a major freighter hub.”

However, it was touching down on the civilian part of a Russian military base that took the cake.

“It was very picturesque being surrounded by mountains with active volcanoes.”

Despite a fairly bumpy runway and a struggle converting metres back to feet and metres per second back to knots, the novel Australians got a warm welcome.

After the 22,691km odyssey, the best news for Paul was that the 78-seat plane “didn’t miss a beat”.

“The passengers really liked it because it is nice and quiet and there are no middle seats.”

Other than two seats either side of the aisle, the other advantage of the plane comes to those with a bit of width in the derriere.

Apparently the Brazilian jets which Virgin will fly on a various routes will have the widest economy seats in Australia.

Source: Herald Sun

Caribbean Star Airlines

June 30, 2006 by admin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Airline News 

Caribbean Star Airlines postpones launch of service to Curacao

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (AP) — Caribbean Star Airlines has postponed the launch of its service to and from the small island of Curacao, a company statement said.

The service — expected to begin on July 13 — was postponed until the Florida-based airline achieves an upgrade on a certification system from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

In a statement released Wednesday, Caribbean Star’s CEO, William “Skip” Barnette said the airline was committed to beginning service to Curacao and will offer ticketed customers on the postponed service full refunds.

The Curacao service was expected to be a daily flight between the Caribbean island of Antigua by way of Trinidad’s Piarco International Airport.

Caribbean Star and its sister airline Caribbean Sun, both based in Florida, fly to 19 Caribbean destinations, carrying some 80,000 passengers a month. The two airlines are affiliated but each carrier is independently operated.

Caribbean Star Postpones Curacao Launch

June 30, 2006 by admin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Airline News 

Hardbeatnews, MIAMI, FL, Fri. June 30, 2006: Officials of Caribbean Star Airlines have decided against beginning a run to the island of Curacao from July 13.

Officials this week said they’ve postponed the launch of the service until they achieve Category One status under the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority.

Caribbean Star’s CEO, William “Skip” Barnette, however, stressed in a statement Wednesday, that the carrier remains committed to beginning service to Curacao and will offer customers who already bought tickets a full refund.

The ECCAA, which regulates the aviation industry in Organization of Eastern Caribbean States countries, was awarded Category One status by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in March 2006, requiring OECS-based carriers like Caribbean Star to be certified under the new guidelines in order to gain clearance to expand operations. Caribbean Star Airlines Limited was incorporated in Antigua in January 2000. – Hardbeatnews.com

Caribbean Star Airlines Postpones Curacao Launch; Full Refunds Provided to Passengers Ticketed on Flights Originally Scheduled to Begin July 13

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua–(BUSINESS WIRE)–June 28, 2006–Caribbean Star Airlines announced today that it has postponed plans to offer new service to/from Curacao. The move comes as the carrier re-focuses and expands its efforts toward achieving Category One status under the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA).

William E. “Skip” Barnette, president and CEO of Caribbean Star and its sister airline, Caribbean Sun, commented on the postponement, stating: “Cat One is our top priority right now. We’ve made tremendous strides throughout the year in elevating our customer care to world-class standards, but before we can offer our steadily improving product to a broader cross-section of the Caribbean, we must achieve Category One certification. Our operations staff and key executives are working closely with ECCAA officials to ensure the successful completion of the Category One recertification process.”

Barnette went on to reinforce Caribbean Star’s commitment to the Curacao market.

“Caribbean Star is 100% committed to offering service to Curacao. Again, with our emphasis on customer care, we’re being proactive and offering customers already ticketed on the postponed service full refunds. It’s our way of apologizing and showing good faith that we will be back before you know it.”

All Caribbean Star passengers ticketed and confirmed for postponed travel to/from Curacao are eligible for full refunds of all ticket charges. To claim compensation, Caribbean Star customers must send their tickets via regular mail to the following address:

Caribbean Star Airlines

Attn: Revenue Accounts/Refund Department

PO Box 1628 W

Powells

St. Johns, Antigua

Caribbean Star’s new Curacao service was originally scheduled to begin July 13, 2006, providing a new air link between Antigua in the northeast Caribbean and Curacao in south by way of Trinidad.

The ECCAA, which regulates the aviation industry in Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) countries, was awarded Category One status by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in March 2006, requiring OECS-based carriers like Caribbean Star to be certified under the new guidelines in order to gain clearance to expand operations. Such provisions are required under the FAA’s International Aviation Safety Assessments (IASA) program. Established in August 1992, the IASA program focuses on a country’s ability, not an individual carrier’s, to adhere to international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance established by the United Nations’ technical agency for aviation, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

About Caribbean Star Airlines and Caribbean Sun Airlines

Privately held Caribbean Star Airlines Limited was incorporated in Antigua in January 2000. Its sister airline Caribbean Sun Airlines Inc., based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, launched its maiden flight in January 2003. With a total of 19 Dash-8 aircraft, the most recent of which was commissioned into service in January 2006, the combined Caribbean Star/Caribbean Sun fleet is the largest and most modern in the Caribbean. A total of 19 Caribbean destinations are served by the two airlines, which transport some 80,000 people each month. More information about Caribbean Sun Airlines and Caribbean Star Airlines is available at their respective Web sites, www.flycsa.com and www.flycaribbeanstar.com.

Caribbean Star Airlines Limited and Caribbean Sun Airlines Inc. are affiliated but separate companies. The air service provided by each carrier is operated independently of the other, and the rules applicable to travel on each airline may be different.

Air traffic in Aruba in danger

December 24, 2005 by admin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Airline News, Aruba News 

ORANJESTAD — Delays in the air traffic from Aruba are so substantial that several airliners are considering suspending their flights. Apparently the main reason seems to be due to the malfunctioning radar in Curaçao, the use of outdated software and an unreliable radio communication between the control towers of the Reina Beatrix and Hato airports. American Airlines already threatened to cancel the connections between Aruba and San Juan in Puerto Rico.

Peter Steinmetz, director of Aruba Airport Authority (AAA), admits that there are problems and stated they have been trying to bring this matter to the attention of minister Edison Briesen (MEP) of Tourism and Transportation and Ady Maduro of the Aviation administration. “Up till now it has not yielded any results”, stated Steinmetz. The problems continue to escalate, because aircrafts on the runway oftentimes need to wait for an hour or even longer before they are cleared for take off and sometimes they can’t even leave the gate.

The delays are especially damaging for connections to hubs in the US, where passengers need to change flights to reach their final destination. In most cases when these passengers miss their connecting flights due to reasons beyond their control, the airliner oftentimes covers the expenses of meals and eventual stay-overs.

Steinmetz has been given to understand that the air traffic control in Curaçao is waiting for the move of their department to a new building and that they are also waiting for new equipment. He considers it unacceptable that he can’t inform the users of ‘his’ airport on when they can expect an improvement. “Curaçao has been using this argument for too long.” What AAA can do is try to get the problem included in the agenda of the reunion of a delegation of the kingdom who will visit Aruba shortly to discuss a security investigation by the international civil aviation organization ICAO. “This is a kingdom’s affair and pressure could be exerted on Curaçao from The Netherlands to put their affairs in order”, stated Steinmetz.

The tower control in Curaçao supervises a large section of the airspace surrounding the ABC-islands. This aerospace is also largely used by aircrafts that fly from South-America to northern destinations. If the traffic can’t be controlled with the help of radar, it is done trough radio contact. This takes more time however which is why the safe distance between two flights is automatically made larger. Steinmetz estimates that the routes can be flown by approx. four times the amount of aircrafts with radar controls compared to the current situation.

Ineke Lampe, manager of American Airlines op Aruba, declared in front of TV cameras that she found it strange that the AA flights from Curaçao to San Juan did manage to depart on time. During the same program the Antillean minister of Transportation, Omayra Leeflang (PAR), offered her apologies and declared to expect to see a clear report on the delays as to find a solution to the problem. “It’s not a problem related with personnel,” stated the Antillean minister, “because we have sufficient traffic controllers in place.” She did not however come up with a possible solution.

The association of traffic conductors in Aruba indicated that the service from Curaçao’s end certainly left a lot to be desired, but that the problem did not only focus there. The radar doesn’t only malfunction in Curaçao; it malfunctions in Aruba as well. The omni directional beacon at the Reina Beatrix airport has been out of service for approx. a year and a half. The one in Curaçao on the other hand is still operational and according to the Aruban traffic conductors it accounts for better results. Another point that can’t be blamed on Curaçao is the fact that the flight connections between Aruba and the US have increased in frequency and thus also the amount of traffic in the airspace.

Air Traffic Control can’t meet the requirements set in the current situation. The air traffic conductors also point out the added pressure they must deal with and warn that this could lead to what they call ‘human error’.

The air traffic conductors believe that the beacon at the airport should become operational again as soon as possible, but that more importantly the radar installations in Curaçao as well as Aruba should be put to use. This would not only increase the efficiency but also the air traffic’s safety. The air traffic conductors cynically point out that minister Briesen has been promising to solve the radar problem for four years, but that nothing has yet been done. The radar is also not mentioned in the governing program of the recently appointed cabinet. “Don’t only look for the splinter in the eye of Curaçao, but look at the two by four in your own eye.

Stranded DAE passengers go on KLM instead today

November 18, 2005 by admin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Airline News, Travel and Tourism 

AIRPORT–Stranded passengers of Dutch Antilles Express (DAE), including Governor of the Netherlands Antilles Frits Goedgedrag and Prime Minister Etienne Ys, will be travelling on Royal Dutch Airline KLM to Curaçao today, Thursday.

Two ATR 42 aircraft of DAE, flying as BonairExpress and CuraçaoExpress, were stranded Wednesday, one in St. Maarten and the other in Curaçao, due to technical problems.

As a result, the afternoon and evening flights between Curaçao and St. Maarten were cancelled. A total of 36 passengers were stranded, according to DAE’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Floris van Pallandt.

Assistance of Windward Islands Airways International Winair was requested, but unfortunately the help of a technical expert from Curaçao was needed, said Van Pallandt, who confirmed reports that the aircraft in St. Maarten was leaking oil.

“We are trying to solve the situation as soon as possible,” he said. A technical expert will probably be flown in today with a chartered aircraft. He said the airline’s third spare plane would be put in the schedule today to rescue as many stranded passengers as possible.

A solution has been found for the St. Maarten passengers, the ones stranded Wednesday, as well as the ones who have to go to Curaçao today. They will be travelling on KLM this afternoon. Passengers are requested to check in at Arrindell Aviation Services (AAS) at the airport as of 12:00 noon. The KLM flight leaves around 4:30pm.

Van Pallandt explained that he had approached KLM to buy seats on the Boeing 747-400 to accommodate the passengers and not risk awaiting the repair of the ATR 42. “KLM had open seats on the route St. Maarten-Curaçao. I am happy that we can solve it this way,” he said.

Source: The Daily Herald

A New Airline, a New Look

August 24, 2005 by admin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Airline News 

On August 23, 2005 America West and US Airways unveiled our new livery – or aircraft paint scheme – that will be used when we join together this fall to create the world’s largest low-fare, full-service airline with flights to more than 200 cities worldwide, including coast-to-coast destinations across the U.S., and a multitude of destinations in Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and Europe.

The fresh new look includes an updated version of the US Airways flag symbol and waving stripes that represent the stripes of the flag streaming across the sides of the plane.

While the new look celebrates the bright future for the airline, it also honors the rich history of the combined airline by incorporating an important new element: A symbol near the front of the body of the airplane that pays tribute to each of the airlines that have joined together over the years to make up the new US Airways:

* Allegheny Airlines
* America West
* Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA)
* Piedmont Airlines

In addition to this symbol that celebrates the combined heritage of the new airline, several aircraft will be painted in the classic paint schemes of these airlines as a tribute to each of them.

more…

Source: America West and US Airways

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