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Virgin Australia unveils cabin of the future and $110 million fleet-wide aircraft upgrade

Virgin Australia unveils cabin of the future and $110 million fleet-wide aircraft upgrade

The arrival of Virgin Australia’s first fuel-efficient Boeing 737-8* aircraft, which landed on Australian soil last week, will be celebrated by more than 3,000 team employees and their families.

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The Boeing 737-8 aircraft, which just left the Boeing factory in Seattle and still has that new plane smell, represents an exciting new step in Virgin Australia’s transformation. The airline’s fleet renewal programme is well underway as it continues to work towards its net zero emissions target by 2050. Virgin Australia has ordered 33 fuel-efficient Boeing 737-8 and 737-10 aircraft, and additional fuel-efficient aircraft are expected to be delivered in the upcoming months.

With the arrival of the Boeing 737-8, Virgin Australia also unveiled its much-anticipated new Business Class and Economy cabin interior and confirmed plans to update the interior cabins on the airline’s remaining Boeing fleet, as part of an investment of about $110 million to enhance the travelling experience for passengers.

Highlight features of the new Boeing 737-8 cabin interior include:

  • In-seat power for all Business Class and Economy seats.
  • Larger overhead lockers, with capacity to stow up to 50 per cent more carry-on baggage (individual guest carry-on luggage limits will not increase).
  • Wider Business Class seats which also feature leg rests with extendable footrests, storage compartments, tablet/device holders and water bottle holders.
  • A new Economy seat design, featuring a ribbed backing to elevate comfort and ergonomics.
  • A personal tablet/device holder for all Economy seats, making it easy to view Virgin Australia in-flight entertainment, movies and TV shows.

The interior refresh and product upgrade across Virgin Australia’s remaining Boeing fleet will commence later this year, with the work set to be complete in the next two years, subject to operational requirements. The upgrade includes:

  • Installation of in-seat power for all Business Class and Economy seats.
  • Installation of new Business Class seats, consistent with the new Boeing 737-8 aircraft.
  • Installation of new or refreshed Economy seats, with seat design to be consistent with the new Boeing 737-8 aircraft.
  • Introduction of in-flight Wi-Fi and complimentary in-flight entertainment (via a guest’s own personal device) to majority of remaining fleet.

A brand-new design cabin divider between Business Class and Economy will also be implemented, creating a completely new seat configuration. Greater floor space in the Economy cabin and the subsequent installation of six to twelve extra Economy seats are made possible by the new divider. On all Boeing 737-800 aircraft, one Economy X row will be swapped out for Economy seating as part of the renovation. Once the cabin revamp programme is finished, the unified in-flight product will provide additional seats for passengers and a consistent customer experience on all flights operated by Virgin Australia Boeing 737 aircraft.

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Ex-Cathay Pacific A330-300 Destroyed by Fire during Long-Term Storage at Spain

Ex-Cathay Pacific A330-300 Destroyed by Fire during Long-Term Storage at Spain

In a dramatic turn of events, an ex-Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 met a fiery end at Ciudad Real Airport in Spain. The aircraft, with a distinguished service history spanning 28 years, was resting in long-term storage at the airport when disaster struck.

Reports emerged detailing the unfortunate incident, painting a picture of destruction and chaos. The once majestic A330, bearing the serial number MSN113, became engulfed in flames while undergoing dismantling procedures. What began as a routine process turned into a nightmare as a fire erupted in the aircraft’s tail section, quickly spreading to consume the entire fuselage.

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Emergency responders, including the Civil Guard, medical teams, and law enforcement personnel, swiftly descended upon the scene to contain the inferno. Despite the intensity of the blaze, their coordinated efforts prevented any injuries among both the public and the brave individuals working to quell the flames.

By mid-afternoon, the Ciudad Real fire service declared victory over the fire, announcing its successful extinguishment. However, the aftermath left behind a trail of questions and concerns. Authorities launched an investigation into the cause of the blaze, with initial findings shrouded in mystery.

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The head of the airport expressed astonishment at the unprecedented event, highlighting it as the first instance where airport infrastructure had to grapple with such a significant fire-related challenge. As the investigation unfolds, the aviation community awaits answers, hoping to shed light on the circumstances leading to the demise of the retired Airbus A330.

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Air India’s last VVIP Boeing 747 now found a new home in USA

Air India's last VVIP Boeing 747 now found a new home in USA
Image:Wikipedia

In a symbolic transition marking the end of a storied chapter in aviation history, Air India bid farewell to its last remaining Boeing 747-400 jumbo jetliners, once revered for ferrying dignitaries including prime ministers, presidents, and vice presidents.

The sale of these iconic aircraft to AerSale, a company based in the United States, signals the closure of a remarkable era for the airline.

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The decision to part ways with the Boeing 747s was driven by practical considerations. Tata Group, the new custodian of airindia flights, deemed these majestic planes uneconomical to operate in today’s aviation landscape. As such, out of the four sold, two will be repurposed into freighters, while the remaining pair will be meticulously disassembled to harness their valuable parts.

The transaction, orchestrated by Mumbai-based Vman Aviation Services, underscores the strategic shift in Air India’s fleet management strategy under its new ownership. Tata Group’s decision to divest from the 747s reflects a commitment to optimizing operational efficiency and aligning with contemporary industry standards.

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Skytech-AIC, a UK-based remarketing firm engaged by Tata Group, facilitated the sale of these iconic aircraft, marking the conclusion of their illustrious service with Air India. The airline’s last flight featuring the Boeing 747 took to the skies between Delhi and Mumbai in March 2021, encapsulating decades of distinguished service and indelible memories.

The allure of used aircraft parts continues to resonate across the aviation sector, offering operators a cost-effective alternative without compromising on quality or performance. The transfer of these aircraft to AerSale not only ensures their continued utility but also underscores the enduring legacy of Air India’s fleet.

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A software error caused grounding the entire airline fleet

A software error caused the grounding entire airline fleet

On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a ground stop advisory for all Alaska Airlines and subcarrier flights due to a software issue, disrupting travel plans for passengers.

The FAA directive, which prohibited the departure of Alaska Airlines mainline and subcarrier flights, was implemented as a precautionary measure following the detection of the software problem. The ground stop was initiated after Alaska Airlines encountered difficulties during a system upgrade related to the calculation of weight and balance for their flights.

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As a result, the airline opted for a temporary suspension of all its operations to address the issue and ensure passenger safety. Alaska Airlines promptly issued a statement acknowledging the incident and expressing their commitment to resolving the matter swiftly. “This morning we experienced an issue while performing an upgrade to the system that calculates our weight and balance.

Out of an abundance of caution, we requested a ground stop for all Alaska and Horizon flights, which was instituted at approximately 7:30 a.m. PT,” the statement read. Passengers affected by the disruption voiced their concerns on social media platforms, prompting Alaska Airlines to reassure them of their efforts to minimize the inconvenience and expedite the resumption of flights.

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Following approximately an hour-long interruption, the FAA lifted the ground stop order, allowing Alaska Airlines and its subcarriers to resume normal operations. However, it was clarified that SkyWest, which provides regional service for Alaska Airlines and other carriers, was exempt from the ground stop and continued its flights unaffected.

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