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US Air Force unveils new color scheme for Air Force One

US Air Force unveils new color scheme for Air Force One

President of the United States Joe Biden has selected the livery design for the “Next Air Force One,” VC-25B, a design that will closely resemble the livery of the current Air Force One, VC-25A, while also modernizing for the 21st century.

The VC-25B livery differs significantly from the VC-25A livery in three key ways while accommodating the larger 747-8i aircraft of the VC-25B. Compared to the robin’s egg blue of VC-25A, the light blue on VC-25B has a little deeper, more contemporary tone. Moreover, rather of the robin’s egg blue of the VC-25A engines, the VC-25B engines will use the darker blue from the cockpit area. The VC-25B does not have a polished metal part because current commercial aircraft skin alloys do not support it.

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Why Are Most Airplane Seats Blue?(Opens in a new browser tab)

For Boeing to carry out engineering, certification-preparation, and supplier selection efforts for the program, a formal contractual decision for a VC-25B livery was not necessary until this year. Because it had been stated in the public as a desirable livery for the VC-25B in 2019, the Air Force had previously showcased it in such a livery. A thermal investigation later revealed that due to the higher heat in some situations, the dark blue in the design would need additional Federal Aviation Administration qualification testing for a number of commercial components.

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The VC-25B Program will deliver a new fleet of aircraft to enable POTUS to execute the duties of Head of State, Chief Executive, and Commander in Chief. The aircraft will be uniquely modified to provide the POTUS, staff, and guests with safe and reliable air transportation with the equivalent level of communications capability and security available in the White House.

Qantas unveils ‘Project Sunrise’ first and business class cabins for A350s(Opens in a new browser tab)

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The VC-25B aircraft will replace the current VC-25A fleet, which faces capability gaps, rising maintenance costs, and parts obsolescence. Modifications to the aircraft will include electrical power upgrades, a mission communication system, a medical facility, an executive interior, a self-defense system, and autonomous ground operations capabilities.

VC-25B deliveries are projected for 2027 for the first aircraft and 2028 for the second aircraft. The Air Force remains postured to keep VC-25A available and mission-ready until the delivery of the VC-25B.

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Virgin Atlantic Sued Over Alleged Age Discrimination: Cabin Crew Seek Justice

Virgin Atlantic Sued Over Alleged Age Discrimination: Cabin Crew Seek Justice

Virgin Atlantic finds itself embroiled in legal proceedings as over 200 former cabin crew members launch a lawsuit against the airline, alleging discriminatory practices during the period of the pandemic.

The dispute centers on accusations that the company unfairly targeted older employees for dismissal while retaining newer, less costly hires.

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The pandemic’s onset in March 2020 triggered a cascade of challenges for the aviation industry, leading Virgin Atlantic to ground a significant portion of its fleet. In response, the airline swiftly implemented cost-cutting measures, including the reduction of its workforce by over 40%, amounting to the loss of 3,000 jobs.

Additionally, it established a “holding pool” for potentially rehiring redundant staff once normal operations resumed. However, the crux of the legal battle lies in the claim that Virgin Atlantic retained approximately 350 new cabin crew members, some with minimal training periods as short as a week.

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While simultaneously letting go of experienced onboard managers, many of whom boasted an average age of 45 years and two decades of service. This perceived discrepancy forms the backbone of the lawsuit, with former employees contending that age became a determining factor in the airline’s decision-making process.

In response, a Virgin Atlantic representative stated: “Virgin Atlantic had to make very difficult decisions following the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the aviation industry.” Regretfully, this meant a 45% reduction in the total number of employees within the company.

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End of an Era: Qantas Retires Final Boeing 767 Freighter

End of an Era: Qantas Retires Final Boeing 767 Freighter

Qantas has officially bid farewell to its last Boeing 767 aircraft, marking the end of an era that began nearly four decades ago.

The final 767, a dedicated freighter variant registered as VH-EFR, operated its last flight on May 17, 2024. This concluding journey took it from Hong Kong (HKG) to Sydney (SYD) under the flight number QF7526, closing the chapter on Qantas’s use of the 767 after 39 years.

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The Australian airline commemorated the occasion with an Instagram post on Friday, announcing the retirement of VH-EFR, their last remaining 767. According to Cirium Ascend Fleet Analyzer data, this aircraft is a little over 18 years old. It joined the Qantas fleet in 2011, having previously served Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) as a cargo plane.

Despite being owned by Qantas, the aircraft was operated by Express Freighters Australia under the Qantas Freight brand.

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The Boeing 767 has had a versatile history with Qantas. Initially, the aircraft was used on international routes, flying to destinations in New Zealand, Asia, and North America. Following the 1992 merger with Australian Airlines, the 767s were increasingly deployed for domestic services as well.

Although Qantas is retiring this specific freighter, the Boeing 767-300 freighter model remains active globally. Records indicate that 280 of these aircraft are still operational, serving 14 airlines around the world.

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United Flight Diverts to Shannon, After Stuck Laptop in Business Class Seat

United Flight Diverts to Shannon, After Stuck Laptop in Business Class Seat

A United Airlines flight from Zurich to Chicago O’Hare was forced to make an emergency diversion to Shannon, Ireland.

On Saturday afternoon after a passenger got their laptop wedged in a Business Class seat aboard the Boeing 767-300. Operating as United Flight 12, the aircraft departed from Flughafen Zürich at 9:46 a.m. local time and took off at 10:08 a.m.

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The captain decided to divert the flight not because the passenger couldn’t access their laptop, but because any device powered by lithium-ion batteries that becomes inaccessible could pose a significant safety risk.

Such devices, if damaged or overheated, could lead to a thermal runaway event, potentially causing a fire on board. The Boeing 767-300, featuring United’s relatively new Polaris business-class cabin, landed safely at Shannon Airport in County Clare at 1:43 p.m. IST (Irish Summer Time) and reached the gate at 1:51 p.m.

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In a statement, United Airlines acknowledged the diversion: “United flight 12 scheduled from Zurich to Chicago landed safely in Shannon to address a potential safety risk caused by a laptop being stuck in an inaccessible location.” This situation led to the cancellation of the flight, and the airline is working to reroute the 157 passengers who found themselves unexpectedly in Ireland.

Frequent flyers are often reminded in airline safety videos not to move their seats if they lose mobile phones or other gadgets powered by lithium-ion batteries within the seats. Attempting to retrieve such items by moving the seat can damage the battery and potentially cause a dangerous situation.

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