What's next for the A380? Delays in opening at Dubai and tracking new jets, too. The post DLD 143: What and Where for the Whale? appeared first on Wandering Aramean. Related Stories - Heathrow Hotel Plane-Spotting - Delta fixes Comfort+ upgrade problem ...


DLD 143: What and Where for the Whale?

Singapore Airlines is returning four A380s to the lessor and the future of those specific aircraft is uncertain, as is the future of the line in general.


We talk Boeing’s MOM/NMA options, too, trying to make some sense of the market and what’s next.

Oh, and 787s, too, while we’re at it. The -10 is now flying test operations and there are some interesting rules associated with it.

Tracking the A320neo and 737MAX families is possible as IATA and ICAO designators are now known.


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Heathrow Hotel Plane-Spotting

When in doubt, go watch airplanes. Or, in my case, given a rare half day off after crossing the Atlantic, rest in my hotel room and watch the Heathrow departure pattern.

The Queen of the Skies takes flight, headed to the USA

An Egyptair 777 departs Heathrow to Cairo

Back to Doha for this Qatar Airways A380

This time around I stayed at the Ibis Heathrow Airport on the northeast corner of the field, just opposite the threshold for 27R. Departures were running to the west on the southern runway (i.e. 9R in use) which meant the planes were a little further away but also that I had some fun opportunities with the foreground as well.

I love the variety of planes in this shot, including the VS A340-600 headed to NYC

A British Airways A380 lifts off at Heathrow

Air New Zealand’s 777 headed to Los Angeles and Auckland

A Virgin Atlantic 787 flies over the company’s hangar at Heathrow

Suffice it to say, while I was tempted by the idea of a nap I managed to avoid it in...

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Delta fixes Comfort+ upgrade problem

When Delta Air Lines rolled out its Comfort+ product there was one major flaw. Rather than selecting a seat assignment passengers would be automatically placed in any available seat in the extra legroom section of the cabin, including the potential for a middle seat. Not surprisingly, many would prefer an aisle or window without the legroom and other C+ benefits than a middle with them but avoiding that scenario was not really viable. Until now.

As part of an update to its product merchandizing platform announced today Delta will now allow two additional options for Comfort+ upgrades:

In addition to the current automatic upgrade clearing process, Medallion Members may choose, instead, to self-select upgrade seats from the seat map once their eligibility window opens. The seat map will also allow a Medallion Member to choose to revert back to Main Cabin with one touch if they aren’t happy with their upgrade seat assignment, for example, to a middle seat. This improvement is designed...

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Hainan’s North America growth heads south of the border

Hainan Airlines is re-upping its plans to fly to Tijuana. The Chinese carrier submitted applications to the Civil Aviation Authority of China  (CAAC) to serve four new long-haul destinations starting later in 2017 and the Mexican city is again on the list, as are Tehran, Zurich and Sydney. All of the routes are interesting for a variety of reasons but the Tijuana route is most intriguing to me, mostly on account of the current bilateral agreement governing flights between the United States and China.

Hainan Airlines' current North American destinations, with more to come. Might one of those be in Mexico??

Hainan Airlines’ current North American destinations, with more to come. Might one of those soon be in Mexico??

In July 2016 Hainan Airlines sought access to fly to Tijuana with continuing service to Mexico City. This is a similar flight routing to what Aeromexico used to add service to Tokyo a decade ago. The airport in Mexico City sits at elevation that reduces aircraft range capabilities such that a nonstop flights to Shanghai or Beijing would be pushing the limits of the...

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AA Hawaii laptop incident tied to alcohol, drugs

The latest report from the American Airlines “laptop” incident on a flight from Los Angeles to Hawaii has me all sorts of confused. According to the FBI report on the incident, as reported by AP, the suspect boarded with no bags, just a laptop, cell phone, charger and a few items in his pockets. That is mildly strange but not really illegal. The part where the guy went through an emergency exit door at LAX to the ramp while “looking for food” according to Airport police spokesman Rob Pedregon. Police were also concerned that the suspect might be drunk but apparently not drunk enough to hold. So the police took away his boarding pass and walked him outside security. At that point the guy got another boarding pass, went back through security and boarded the aircraft in a wheelchair, possibly to mask the fact that he was under the influence of alcohol.

Once on board he took a seat in first class despite holding a coach ticket and only after several requests moved...

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