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Qatar Airways interested in Boeing 777X freighter version

How Airbus deftly avoided the A350 controversy while obtaining fresh orders to secure its future.

With the recent Airbus A380 converted into freighter to now discussions surrounding the Boeing 777X looking likely that it could have attracted a considerable amount of interest from Qatar airways for a freighter variant, in one event CEO Akbar Al Baker said Qatar Airways interested in Boeing 777X Freighter Version.

This is a carrier that has already expressed its support on multiplications for a 777X freighter before it has even been delivered as a passenger aircraft to customers within the industry.

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Boeing has been locked in a constant tussle with their 777X with works to certify the aircraft proving tricky from troubles with the GE9X that saw the engines ripped off the test aircraft and sent back to GE aviation for testing and adjustments before returning to boeing this prolonged period for the GE9X and the 777X being on the ground meant that Boeing was naturally unable to move forward with their routine testing and certification plan and then the arrival of the global pandemic and the 737 max crisis adversely also impacted any plans to properly launch a wide-body aircraft that would basically have nowhere to go and not be useful within any current airlines operations as naturally, they don’t have any international long-haul routes to operate.

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The Qatar Airways chief executive noted that they were interested in potentially looking into the capabilities of a Boeing 777X freighter for their operations however the main obstacle at this stage is that they have not heard whether or not Boeing will proceed in the future with launching a freighter version for their latest widebody the current 777 freighter which is based off the original passenger variant has received industry-wide acclaim for what it offers cargo operators and naturally the opportunity to have the latest piece of technology being that of the 777X in a freighter variant in the upcoming decade is another attractive option to customers.

Qatar Airways has both the 777X and the 777 passenger and also on top of that the 777 freighter within their passenger and cargo divisions and order book more naturally as we know the 777X has not been delivered and that highlights of Qatar for their liking for the type overall with the total to be exact of 65 777X aircraft on order. The carrier has said for these aircraft that the first three are going to be arriving in 2023 however this could very easily be delayed and based on comments from other airline executives the deliveries could easily slip back to 2024 or even 2025.

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What Boeing though will attempt to do is prevent this from happening for as long as possible either way Qatar Airways remains eager on a potential 777X freighter launch but notes that progression on developing the type would need to take place sooner rather than later as before you know it will be in 2030 and especially with how long it takes to develop new aircraft or even develop existing aircraft into a freighter aircraft they need to get the start off soon.

What are your thoughts on the significant interest from Qatar Airways with regards to a 777X freighter feel free to comment.

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Aviation

Top 5 light helicopter under 3 million

Top 5 light helicopter under 3 million

In the realm of aviation, helicopters represent a unique blend of agility, versatility, and accessibility. For many, the allure of piloting a helicopter is irresistible, whether for recreational flying, aerial photography, or even business transportation.

However, for those looking to invest in their own rotorcraft, affordability is often a crucial consideration. With a budget of under $3 million, prospective buyers are presented with a range of options, each offering its own blend of performance, features, and value.

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In this Video, we’ll explore the top five light helicopters available on the market, all priced under $3 million.

1. Robinson R44 Raven: The Robinson R44 Raven is a popular and versatile light helicopter known for its reliability. It typically accommodates four passengers and a pilot. It boasts a cruise speed of around 130 knots (150 mph) and a range of approximately 300 nautical miles. It starts at around $400,000 to $500,000. The R44 Raven is often used for various applications, including private transportation, aerial photography, and training due to its agility and affordability in the light helicopter category.

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2.MD530F: The MD530F, also from MD Helicopters, is a compact and nimble helicopter known for its agility and maneuverability. It’s often used in law enforcement and military applications. It typically falls within the price range of $2.5 million,depending on factors such as configuration, optional features, and market conditions. It is equipped with a Rolls-Royce 250-C30 engine, delivering 650 shaft horsepower. With a cruise speed of approximately 110 knots (126 mph) and a range of around 260 nautical miles, the MD530F is well-suited for tasks requiring precision flying, such as reconnaissance and patrol missions.

3. Bell 206 Jet Ranger: a renowned light utility helicopter, is esteemed for its compact design and exceptional maneuverability. Widely utilized in law enforcement, military, and civilian roles, it offers versatility across various missions. Typically priced around $1.2 million to $1.5 million, the cost may vary based on configuration, optional features, and market conditions. Powered by a Allison 250-C20j turboshaft engine, the Bell 206 Jet Ranger boasts 420 shaft horsepower, facilitating a cruise speed of approximately 112 knots (129 mph) and a range of about 374 nautical miles.

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4. Leonardo AW109 Power: renowned for its versatility and performance, is another compact and agile helicopter highly regarded in both civilian and military circles. It is often utilized in law enforcement, emergency medical services, corporate transport, and various other missions. Priced at approximately $3 million. Powered by twin Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206C engines, the AW109 Power boasts impressive capabilities with a cruise speed of approximately 154 knots (177 mph) and a range of up to 565 kilometers, making it suitable for missions requiring swift and efficient transportation over moderate distances.

Equipped with advanced avionics and spacious cabin accommodations, the AW109 Power provides a comfortable and safe flying experience for both pilots and passengers.

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5. Airbus H125: formerly known as the AS350 B3e, is a versatile and reliable helicopter renowned for its performance and adaptability. It is widely used across various industries, including law enforcement, emergency medical services, and aerial work. With a price typically ranging from $2.5 million, the cost can vary based on specific configurations, optional features.

Powered by a Turbomeca Arriel 2D engine, the H125 boasts robust performance, delivering approximately 847 shaft horsepower. Its cruise speed reaches around 133 knots (153 mph), offering swift and efficient transportation. The H125 also features a commendable range of approximately 357 nautical miles, making it suitable for extended missions or long-distance flights.

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Aviation

American Airlines Letter Sparks Outrage Over Flight Attendant Salary

American Airlines Launches 8 New Winter Routes to Latin America &Caribbean

An employment letter from American Airlines (AAL) has ignited a firestorm of controversy across social media platforms, shedding light on the stark reality of flight attendant salaries in the aviation industry.

Shared on Reddit and authenticated by the union representing American Airlines employees, the letter has drawn widespread attention for its revelation of starting salaries barely surpassing federal poverty levels.

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The actual letter AA gives new FAs when they move to NYC, Miami, Boston, Dallas etc.
byu/containment-failure inamericanairlines

Detailing the compensation package for new flight attendants, the letter discloses an hourly rate of $30.35 per flight hour, translating to an annual salary projection of $27,315 before incentives and taxes. This figure, notably below the poverty threshold for both individual and two-person households in 2024, has sparked outrage and disbelief among readers.

What further compounds the issue is the disclosure that flight attendants typically work between 65 to 85 flight hours each month, supplemented by an additional 50 hours dedicated to aircraft preparation before takeoff and after landing—tasks for which they receive no compensation.

This revelation underscores the significant gap between the demanding workload of flight attendants and the meager financial rewards they receive in return. The letter, designed for use in dealings with landlords and other service providers as proof of income, closes with a plea for understanding: “any courtesy you can provide would be appreciated.”

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This poignant appeal highlights the financial strain faced by many flight attendants who struggle to make ends meet on their current salaries. In response to these revelations, American Airlines flight attendants are mobilizing for action.

With negotiations underway for a new contract with the airline, which includes demands for higher pay, they are urging the White House to authorize their right to strike after a 30-day cooling-off period.

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Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

Welcome to a flight review on Singapore Airlines’ flagship Airbus A350-900ULR flight to New York’s John F Kennedy international airport. With a scheduled flight time of 18 Hours and 40 minutes, together with an average distance of 9,800 miles, this flight is so long that Singapore Airlines does not have a economy class cabin on it. This means that aircrafts which ply this route are specially configured, having only Premium Economy and Business class seats. This flight is also currently the world’s longest flight. 

Check-in

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I checked in at the mobile kiosk at Changi Airport Terminal 3. However, even though I was able to print out the baggage tags, I was not able to check-in my bags at the self check-in counter. Instead, I soon found out that travellers bound for the United States are supposed to proceed to the manual counters to check-in their baggage, due to the additional security measures imposed for flights bound to the United States. 
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Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy


Today’s flight is onboard 9V-SGG, a 2018 built Airbus A350-900 ULR Aircraft, specially modified to fly this route. The flight time onboard this flight would be approximately 17 hours and 15 minutes, with the Airbus A350 flying over the Pacific Ocean. 

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

We took off from Singapore Changi Airport Runway 20C and landed at JFK Airport Runway 22L.

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Aircraft TypeAirbus A350-900ULR 
Aircraft Registration 9V-SGG
Flight Distance 9067nm
V1/Rotation Speed158/159kts
Take off Weight 273,857kg 
Cruise Altitude 35,000ft, then up to 41,000ft 

Boarding Process

Due to the unique configuration of our aircraft for today, boarding took place relatively quickly. Passengers were called to board by their class of travel, together with the airline loyalty program. Boarding took place so fast that within 20 minutes, all of us were in our seats, ready for the long flight to New York. 

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Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

Seats

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The seats in Premium Economy are arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration, with the last 3 rows having a 1-4-1 configuration. 

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

Meanwhile the seats in the business cabin are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, giving each seat a direct aisle access. 

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

I am seated in Seat 40C, one of the 6 ‘solo’ seats on the Airbus A350, which means that I would not be having another seat beside me. Instead, what was in place of the other seat was a storage bin, which was rather helpful as I could easily store my carry-on bags right beside me, instead of in the overhead compartment. This also means that I would be able to retrieve any items in my carry on bags without requiring me to stand up. 

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

The seats have a spacious width of 19.5 inches, offering a generous 38 inch of pitch, and offers a generous 8 inches of recline, resulting in a rather comfortable experience. There is a blanket and a pillow which could be found at every seat, and they were integral in ensuring that I had a comfortable journey onboard this ultra-long haul flight. 

The seats also came with a table lamp which is conveniently located at the left-hand of the seat, and was able to toggle between 3 different brightness settings. The tray tables are sufficiently big, which makes it easy for anyone who wishes to do some work onboard the aircraft. 

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The Flight 

Due to the slightly shorter flight time, we took off from Changi Airport in Singapore at a slightly later time of (time), so as to reach New York’s JFK airport on time. 

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Before take off, the cabin crew came around the cabin to offer each passenger a hot towel, a welcome gesture given the long flight. Furthermore, the cabin crew also came around confirming orders by passengers who have pre-booked their meals using the ‘Book the Cook’ option. Passengers could use the ‘Book the Cook’ option to pre-select the meals for the flight, and are offered a wider range of food choices, with over 20 different food choices from different cuisines being offered. This is a step up from the usual menu choices, where passengers are limited to the 2 menus offered onboard the flight per meal. 

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy


Right after takeoff, we were served lunch, which consisted of either Pork Fricasse with Lentils or Thai Braised Beef Noodles. For me, since I used the ‘Book the Cook’ option, I got a Sake Teriyaki Set, which consisted of two pieces of salmon, with rice marinated in Japanese Teriyaki sauce. The dessert, which was Chocolate Orange Cake, was amazing, and ended the lunch service on a high note. 

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

Singapore Airlines recently revamped their inflight menu services for Premium Economy, offering 175 new food items and an improved porcelain dishware. This revamp successfully managed to elevate the inflight dining experience, with the porcelain dishware and Champagne served shortly after takeoff giving a more ‘Premium’ feel for the in-flight experience. 

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After the lunch service, the crew dimmed the lights to allow us as passengers to get some well needed shut-eye. One of the unique features of the Airbus A350 is it’s Mood Lighting, which enabled the cabin crews to choose from multiple colour tones to encourage passengers to sleep.

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy


Amenity kits were available upon request. The amenity kit is also part of the Singapore Airlines Premium Economy service revamp. Consisting of a eye mask, lip balm and disposable slippers, the amenity kit was a collaboration between Singapore Airlines and Out of the Woods. The amenity bag is made with an eco-friendly, innovative Kraft paper fabric. 

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

The shut-eye period is when the features of the Premium Economy Seat really stood out. With a generous recline angle of 8 inches, the seat proved to be well designed for everyone to get a significant amount of shut-eye onboard this ultra-long haul flight. Furthermore, there are two USB power outlets, and a power plug outlet should you wish to charge your electronic devices. 

After approximately 8 hours at 10pm Singapore Time, we were woken up for dinner. Once again, I pre booked a meal of Roasted Chicken Garlic Veloute Sauce through Book the Cook. The chicken and potato were well seasoned, and was served with a side of Citrus Tart and a salad. 

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Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy


Throughout the flight, there were various snacks available, ranging from cereal bars, peas and crackers, muffins, KitKats and even Instant Noodles. After the lunch service, the crew quickly set up a cart in the galley, where passengers could go and grab the snacks which they desired.

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

Instant Noodles were available on demand. The crew were also proactive in walking through the galley, serving drinks and snacks when requested. I got a turkey sandwich, which was rather filling and was an unexpected addition as I expected only basic snacks to be available. 

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

Approximately 2 hours before the flight landed in New York, we were served a warm Mushroom Pizza as a pre-landing snack. Given that we were about to land in New York at evening time, this snack was appropriate to be served at this hour. Not long after, we soon started our descent into New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport. 

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About an hour and a half before landing, we were served a pre-landing snack of a Pizza. Well, it was definitely not the best pizza I had, but definitely not the worst. I’ll leave it for you to judge the pizza 🙂 

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy


Soon, our time on the World’s longest flight came to an end, as we made our approach towards New York. Our flight path brought us on a rather scenic view of New York City. What an amazing way to start my vacation in New York! 

Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

In flight entertainment

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The inflight entertainment has a sufficient amount of movies and TV shows, definitely sufficient to keep you entertained for the entire 18 hours of the flight. The screen was also rather responsive, and the brightness of the screen could also be modified according to personal preference. The screens were a staggering 13.3 inch, and could also be controlled with a remote control. Furthermore, Noise Cancelling Headsets were offered by Singapore Airlines, for the passengers to use to watch their movies in flight. This is definitely an upgrade from what is offered in their Economy Class Cabins, where passengers would only have a wired earpiece.

Singapore Airlines offers an extensive Inflight entertainment selection, with the latest movies and television shows which are offered onboard. Furthermore, the airline also offers free inflight WiFi to its customers who are Krisflyer members, the loyalty program of Singapore Airlines. This made the ultra-long haul journey rather bearable as passengers were now able to utilise the internet to access their emails, or even use their social media applications to stay in contact with their loved ones. For me, as an Avgeek, I used the Inflight WiFi to do some self-tracking on the FlightRadar24 application. 

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Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

One good feature of the flight was definitely the access to the in-flight map, together with a birds eye view of the places we were flying over. Singapore Airlines has this unique feature in their in-flight map, where we are able to see the ‘Heads Up Display’ from the comfort of our own screens. Furthermore, the Heads Up Display contains information about our flight, such as the Altitude and Airspeed. 

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Flight Review: World’s longest flight in Premium Economy

Cabin Service 

The immaculate cabin service would definitely be deserving of a shoutout from me — The crews were highly attentive and took initiative in offering passengers drinks. Multiple times through the flight, the crews could be seen walking down the aisle with a tray of water, apple and orange juice, offering it to any passengers who requested it. Furthermore, the crews were highly professional and warm, greeting each passenger by their surnames and even taking time to confirm the pre-booked orders with the passengers. 

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And with that, the time passed in a blink of an eye on the world’s longest flight. This flight certainly felt way quicker than some of the medium/long haul flights which I flew before. Would I do it again? Definitely! 

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