Entries in Changi (3)

Friday
Jun242011

Qantas settles with Rolls-Royce for 95 million AUD out of court

Qantas Airways announced earlier this week that it reached an out-of-court settlement with engine maker Rolls-Royce regarding last November's engine failure on one of the Australian flag carrier airline's Airbus A380 models.  The settlement is in the amount of 95 million AUD (70.4 million EUR; 62.4 million GBP; 123.1 million NZD; 99.7 million USD).

The deal was reached Wednesday morning, but during a press conference, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce refused to go into specifics.  He characterized the settlement as "a very good result," considering the recent downturn in the commercial aviation industry in general.

The A380 that suffered the engine failure happened to be the first A380 inaugurated into service by Qantas in late 2008.  It was given the name Nancy Bird Walton, after the famous Australian aviatrix born in 1915.  She was the youngest Australian woman to have a pilot's license, and during the 1930s, operated an air ambulance service in the Australian state of New South Wales.  She died in 2009, at the age of 93.

The Qantas Airbus A380 was scheduled to fly from Changi International Airport (IATA: SIN; ICAO: WSSS) in Singapore to Kingsford Smith Airport (IATA: SYD; ICAO: YSSY) in Sydney.  The engine failed shortly after takeoff, requiring the plane to return to Singapore.  Qantas grounded its fleet of A380s (of which there were six at the time) for inspections.  This prompted Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa to do the same.  In the time since, all three airlines have expressed confidence in the long-term soundness of the A380, both mechanically and from a business point of view.

Qantas, Singapore Airlines, and Lufthansa are three of six carriers worldwide to fly the Airbus A380.  The others are Air France, Emirates, and Korean AirAir France and Emirates were unconcerned about the safety of the A380s in their respective fleets, because the engines in all of their A380s are the GP7200, made by the Engine Alliance, a joint venture between General Electric and Pratt & Whitney.  Last November, Korean Air did not yet fly the A380.  But for the record, it chose the Engine Alliance GP7200 to power its A380, of which it has ordered ten, and currently possesses one.

related stories

Qantas looks at legal action against Rolls-Royce for engine failure (December 2, 2010)

Qantas CEO aboard first company A380 to fly since engine failure (November 27, 2010)

Qantas and Airbus point finger at Rolls-Royce for compensation (November 22, 2010)

Qantas adapts aircraft route assignments after A380 failure (November 16, 2010)

Qantas continues A380 engine inspection after mid-air failure (November 8, 2010)

original stories

Qantas Reaches Commercial Agreement with Rolls-Royce (Qantas Airways)

Rolls-Royce deal drives Qantas profit (Sydney Morning Herald)

Rolls-Royce, Qantas settle over engine explosion (Yahoo News)

Qantas settles with Rolls-Royce (CNN Online)

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Tuesday
May312011

Finnair starts Helsinki-Singapore non-stop round-trip route

Yesterday, the Finnish flag carrier airline Finnair, inaugurated a daily non-stop round-trip route between its hub at Vantaa International Airport (IATA: HEL; ICAO: EFHK) in Helsinki, and Changi International Airport (IATA: SIN; ICAO: WSSS) in Singapore.  According to search engine results returned by the airline ticket booking engine at www.kayak.com/flights, the daily southeast-bound flight will depart Helsinki at 11:40 in the evening, local time, and arrive in Singapore at 4:10 in the afternoon the next day, local time.  The daily northwest-bound flight is scheduled to depart Singapore at 11:30 in the evening, local time, and arrive in Helsinki at 6:35 in the morning the following day.   The route will be flown with the Airbus A340.

 Finnair CEO Mika Vehviläinen praised the success of the airline's "Asian strategy," and identified the airline's "target group of consumers" as being those "travelling between Asia and Europe on business."  The time slots mentioned above were calculated by the airline to provide particular convenience to Finnish-based business travelers flying to Asia on business, and then back to Finland.

Finland is home to telecommunications giant Nokia, the second-largest company in the Nordic countries by revenue, and the most profitable company in the Nordic countries, according to Forbes Magazine's Global 2000 list, released in 2008.  Finland is also the only Nordic country to use the Euro as its currency, perhaps tying it more closely to much of the rest of Europe, and the rest of the world economically, than its Nordic neighbors Sweden and Norway.  Singapore is an island nation off the southeast end of the Malay Peninsula.  It is home to a number of high-profile firms, both regionally and worldwide, including the investment firm Temasek Holdings, the parent company of Singapore Airlines.

Although the route targets business travelers, a coach seat on the Helsinki-Singapore flight leaving tonight can still be paired with a coach seat on any return flight toward the beginning of June, for a mere 709 EUR round trip, according to www.kayak.com (947 AUD; 615 GBP; 81913 JPY; 1239 NZD; 1250 SGD; 1013 USD).  Business class seats for such a spontaneous round-trip itinerary are six times as expensive.

The listed length of the southeast-bound flight (Helsinki-Singapore) is 11 hours 30 minutes.  The listed length of the northwest-bound flight (Singapore-Helsinki) is 12 hours 5 minutes.  The difference is because in the temperate and tropical latitudes, the jet stream moves west to east.  Singapore operates five hours ahead of Helsinki during European Summer Time, and six hours ahead of Helsinki during all other times.

Finnair heavily promotes its non-stop connections to eastern Asia, of which it boasts more per week than any other European-based airline.

original story (Finnair)

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Friday
Jun252010

Qantas and China Eastern codeshare more flights

Air travelers to China and Australia who travel via Singapore will be able to will be able to switch between airlines serving those two countries more smoothly starting July 1.  Qantas Airways and China Eastern Airlines have agreed to expand their codeshare relationship, by placing their respective codeshare symbol on each other's flights to and from a geographical midpoint of sorts, Changi International Airport in Singapore (IATA: SIN; ICAO: WSSS).

Each of the two airlines already has an established codeshare relationship with the other, on domestic flights.  But starting July 1, in addition to that, Qantas will place its codeshare symbol (QF) on three daily China Eastern flights between Singapore and China Eastern's hub at Pudong International Airport (IATA: PVG; ICAO: ZSPD) in Shanghai.  And China Eastern will place its codeshare symbol (MU) on Qantas Airways flights between Singapore and the Qantas domestic destination cities of Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Adelaide.

Qantas Airways was founded in 1920 as Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services.  The acronym of its original name is what the airline goes by today.  It is the national airline of Australia, and has hubs at Kingsford Smith Airport near Sydney (IATA: SYD; ICAO: YSSY), and at Tullamarine Airport near Melbourne (IATA: MEL; ICAO: YMML).  Its main offices are in the Botany Bay sector of Sydney.  China Eastern Airlines was formed in 1988.  Its main hub is at Pudong International, but its main offices are located at Hongqiao International Airport (IATA: SHA; ICAO: ZSSS), also in Shanghai.

related stories

JAL and AA take another step toward anti-trust immunity (June 24, 2010)

United Airlines and Jet Airways agree to codeshare (June 18, 2010)

Malév and Etihad sign a codeshare deal (June 9, 2010)

The United-Continental merger is not yet a sure thing (May 19, 2010)

Two airlines looking for awards in Hamburg next week made a deal (May 12, 2010)

United and Continental will probably merge (May 3, 2010)

original story (Qantas Airways)