Friday, May 29, 2015

Polish AF accepts participation at 2015 Malta International Airshow

We have been informed that the Polish Air Force has confirmed its participation in this years Malta Int’l Airshow. The Polish AF will be participating for the first time in Malta in the flying display programme with the Orlik Aerobatic Team, an M-28TD in static display and a transport aircraft supporting the team that shall also be part of the static display during the public hours.

The Orlik Aerobatic Team was formed in 1998 and the name Orlik is derived from the name of the aircraft PZL-130 Orlik used by the team. The Orlik Team flies a formation of seven turboprop aircraft and is world known for its elegant and precise flying. Further to the flying display of the Orlik Aerobatic Team the Polish Armed Forces are further supporting our event with two transport aircraft for static display

This news is the culmination of efforts over the last few years to have a strong Polish Armed Forces presence in Malta during the airshow.
 (Source:, 29-May-2015)

TM/DCA: Malta Aircraft Register update

Transport Malta/Directorate of Civil Aviation published today the latest update of the Maltese Aircraft Register.

New addition/s: 
  • 9H-GCM - Bombardier BD-700-1A10 Global Express (c/n. 9076), registered to JetMagic Ltd. (ex VP-CGY)
  • 9H-JOY - Bombardier CL-600-2B19 CRJ-200 (c/n. 7644), registered to Air X Charter Ltd. (ex C-GVEU)
  • 9H-OLA - Diamond DA-42 (42-320), registered to Pontair Ltd.
  • 9H-ZAZ - Boeing B737-400 (c/n. 25349/2156), registered to Air Horizont Ltd. (ex G-DOCD)
Cancellation/s: none

(Source: Transport Malta, 28-May-2015)

First 242-tonne A333 is delivered to Delta Air Lines

The first 242-tonne Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) variant of the A330-300 was delivered today to Delta Air Lines. The Atlanta, Georgia (U.S.) – based airline is the first to receive the aircraft type from among 11 worldwide customers for the option. Delta has selected GE CF6-80E1 engines to power its new A333.

Launched in 2012 as Airbus’ latest evolution to the twin-engine widebody A330 Family, the increased take-off weight A332 and A333 incorporate a new aerodynamic package, engine improvements and an optional centre fuel tank (the latter for the A333 version). These upgrades on the A333 allow for an extended range of up to 6,100 nautical miles while offering up to 2% fuel consumption reduction. (Source: Airbus, 28-May-2015)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Air Malta plans to increase flights this winter

Contrary to the impression that is being given, Air Malta is not decreasing any flights but will be actually increasing operations on its Malta-based routes this winter. In effect the airline is planning to carry more tourists to the Maltese islands whilst utilising fewer aircraft.

Air Malta absolutely agrees that aircraft are there to fly and seeing opportunities in this area, the management has drafted plans to increase aircraft utilisation hours this winter and operate the same amount of 4,452 flight sectors with seven instead of eight aircraft.

Air Malta’s ultimate aim is to do more with less and increase productivity of its assets. Various initiatives are being taken such as operating more night flights, carrying more maintenance during the night, improve aircraft turnaround times and modifying flight departure times. Air Malta reviews the profitability of all flight routes and optimises its capacity accordingly.

Aircraft are fundamental but a costly resource to any airline. All 12 Air Malta aircraft are leased in, with each lease costing millions of Euros each year. In the last few years Air Malta leased out two aircraft to foreign operators in order to recover part of its leasing costs. (Source: Air Malta, 27-May-2015)

Aeroflot B738 strikes tail on landing at Moscow

An Aeroflot Boeing B737-800 (VQ-BWA), performing flight SU-1563 (on May 25th) from Irkutsk to Moscow-Sheremetyevo (Russia), landed on Sheremetyevo's RWY 25R at 1248lt (0948z), however, its tail contacted the runway surface. The aircraft rolled out without further incident and taxied to the gate. There were no injuries, the aircraft received substantial damage however. (Source:, 27-May-2015)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Romanian AF and Italian AF confirm their participation at the 2015 Malta International Airshow

We are delighted to announce that for the first time ever the Romanian Air Force has accepted our invitation to participate in the Malta Internationa Airshow. A Romanian AF C-27J Spartan will be on static display at Malta IAP. This will be the very first time that a C-27J Spartan will participate.

The Italian Air Force 'Reparto Sperimentale Volo' will be back at the Malta International Airshow with a flying display from an Agusta Westland AW-149 helicopter. This will be the first time ever an AW-149 will visit our island.

The Malta based, Italian Military Mission in Malta AB-212 will also be participating at the Malta International Airshow in a flying display on the daily tasks the Mission is tasked in our islands.

The Malta Aviation Society organisers of the Malta International Airshow are looking forward to host the Romanian and Italian crews and we are also very thankful for both Romanian and Italian Air Force for accepting our invitation. (Source: maltairshow, 26-May-2015)

USAF F-15s escort Air France A332 to New York-JFK after chemical threat received

An Air France Airbus A330-200 (F-GZCH),  performing flight AF-22 from Paris Charles de Gaulle (France) to New York-JFK (USA), was enroute at FL400 about one-hour prior to estimated arrival when the United States AF dispatched two F-15 fighters to escort the A330 to landing at JFK airport after a phone call had been received by Maryland State Police indicating a chemical attack would be carried out. The aircraft continued for a safe landing at JFK airport and taxied to a remote apron, where the aircraft, luggage and passengers were searched without finding anything out of the ordinary. (Source:, 25-May-2015)

Pakistani AF K-8 trainer crashes in Swabi district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province

A training aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force crashed in Swabi district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province today. In a short statement, PAF spokesperson Air Commodore SM ALi said that a K-8 trainer aircraft was destroyed when it crashed during a training mission in Zaida village of KP's Swabi district. The spokesman added that both pilots of the aircraft ejected safely. He further said a board of inquiry has been ordered by Air Headquarters to determine the cause of accident. No loss of civilian life or property was reported on the ground. (Source:, 25-May-2015)

First of Australian Navy’s new destroyers, NUSHIP Hobart, launched

The first of Australian Navy’s new destroyers, NUSHIP Hobart, got to ‘feel the water’ as she was launched at the ASC shipyard in Adelaide on May 23rd. Chief of Navy Vice Admiral T. Barrett, along with the Governor or South Australia his Excellency the Hon. H. Van Le and the Minister For Defence the Hon. K. Andrews, MP oversaw the lowering of the ship into the water amid cheers from gathered dignitaries and workers.

Vice Admiral Barrett and the launching lady, Mrs N. Hodgman, wife of the Tasmanian Premier were joined by the premier of South Australia the Hon. J. Weatherill, as the 7,000t guided missile destroyer was named and entered her working environment, the sea, to serve the nation for a generation.

The ship is 75 per cent complete and will now undergo several months of fit out of her sensors and weapons in preparation for her acceptance trials. Only when they are completed and passed will she be commissioned into naval service as HMAS Hobart. (Source:, 25-May-2015)

Avianca Brasil A318 rejects take-off at Juazeiro Do Norte, passenger deploys slide without instruction

An Avianca Brasil Airbus A318-100 (PR-OND),  performing flight O6-6377 (on May 23rd) from Juazeiro Do Norte to Sao Paulo-Guarulhos (Brazil), rejected take-off from Juazeiro Do Norte's RWY 13 at low speed after the left hand engine (PW6122) emitted a loud bang and came to a stop about 350m down the runway. A passenger opened an overwing exit without instruction causing the overwing slide to deploy and immobilizing the aircraft. The passengers subsequently disembarked onto the runway and were taken to the terminal. (Source:, 24-May-2015)

Monday, May 25, 2015

USN T-45C overruns runway at NAS North Island, ends up in San Diego Bay

A U.S. Navy pilot safely ejected into San Diego Bay on Friday when a training jet went off the end of a runway after landing at Naval Air Station North Island. Boaters rescued the pilot from the bay that separates the Navy base in Coronado from downtown San Diego, the Navy said. The pilot was taken by helicopter to University of California, San Diego, Medical Center for evaluation and was released.

The pilot was training for aircraft-landing qualifications in a T-45C Goshawk when the crash occurred. Lt. R. Lauritzen, a Navy spokeswoman, said there was no one else aboard. The downed aircraft could be seen in the bay's shallow water, barely offshore from the base. The Navy was working to lift the jet out of the water. The cause was under investigation. (Source:, 23-May-2015)

Sikorsky's S-97 achieves successful first flight

Sikorsky Aircraft Corptoday announced the successful first flight of the S-97 Raider™ helicopter, a rigid coaxial rotor prototype designed to demonstrate a game-changing combination of maneuverability, hover ability, range, speed, endurance and survivability. The first flight was conducted at Sikorsky’s Development Flight Center where the two-prototype Raider™ helicopter test program is based. (Source: Sikorsky, 22-May-2015)

Air Lituanica halts services

Lithuanian carrier Air Lituanica ceased flying from noon Friday, local time. The small airline, whose website credits it with operating an Embraer E-175, an Embraer E-145 and an ATR 42 said its management had decided to stop operations. The final flights operated from Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, were to Amsterdam, Tallinn and Paris. Afternoon services to Berlin, Prague, Brussels and Stockholm were canceled. (Source:, 22-May-2015)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Jet2 lands in Malta

British leisure operator and Jet2holidays landed in Malta International Airport for the first time yesterday evening., whose first aircraft arrived from Newcastle, will be operating low fare flights and package holidays from East Midlands, Manchester, Leeds Bradford and Glasgow airports.

The first flight from Newcastle yesterday was welcomed by Malta Tourism Authority chairman G. Gulia and Malta International Airport CEO A. Borg. British holidaymakers on board were welcomed with flowers before being invited to a cake-cutting ceremony. and Jet2holidays flights and package holidays will operate weekly from Newcastle (Thursdays), East Midlands (Fridays), Leeds Bradford (Saturdays) and Glasgow (Tuesdays) and bi-weekly on Mondays and Fridays from Manchester. (Source:, 22-May-2015)

Azul firms order for up to 50 E195-E2s

Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras S.A. have reached a final agreement with Embraer S.A. for 30 firm orders for the E195-E2 jets. The contract, announced as a Letter of Intent (LOI) during the 2014 edition of the Farnborough International Airshow, in July last year, also includes an additional 20 purchase rights for the same model, bringing the total potential order up to 50 E195-E2 jets. (Source: Embraer, 21-May-2015)

General Atomics receives order for eight additional MQ-9 Reaper Block 5s for USAF

General Atomics has been awarded a fixed-price incentive firm and firm-fixed-price US$72 million modification (01) to order 077 on the basic ordering agreement FA8620-10-G-3038. Contractor will produce eight additional MQ-9 Reaper Block 5 production configuration aircraft. Work is expected to be complete by Dec. 31st, 2017. U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity. (Source: U.S. Department of Defense, 20-May-2015)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Italian Coast Guard Alfredo Peluso calls at Valletta Port

The Italian Coast Guard Diciotti-class offshore-patrol vessel Alfredo Peluso (CP 905) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) early this morning on a courtesy visit.

OPV Peluso is presently berthing alongside at Wine wharf, and she's scheduled to sail from the Malta in the coming days after a short stay. (Source: 21-May-2015)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Air Malta's flight from Heathrow 'stuck' in Catania for ten-hours because of fog, crew change

An Air Malta flight from London-Heathrow (KM-103), due to have arrived in Malta shortly after midnight, was diverted to Catania and stuck there for almost ten-hours. The flight was one of two diverted because of fog over Malta. 

An Air Malta spokesman said the delay on the London flight was made worse because a crew change was required since the first crew was 'out of hours'. The flight arrived in Malta at 10am. 

The other diverted flight, from Birmingham (KM-4237), arrived in Malta early this morning. (Source:, 20-May-2015)

Austal launches the sixth JHSV for USN

The U.S. Navy's newest joint high speed vessel (JHSV 6), the future USNS Brunswick, was launched from the Austal USA Shipyard on May 19th. With the 338-foot JHSV entering the water for the first time, the ship will undergo final outfitting and testing before sea trials and delivery to the Navy later this year. USNS Brunswick is the sixth JHSV Austal has launched as part of a US$1.6 billion 10-ship block buy contract. (Source: Austal, 20-May-2015)

Qatar Executive agrees to purchase up to 30 Gulfstream aircraft

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. today announced that Qatar Executive has agreed to purchase up to 30 Gulfstream aircraft as part of a Memorandum of Understanding originally announced in October of last year. The original sale called for Qatar Executive to purchase up to 20 Gulfstream aircraft, including the all-new G500. The recently signed final agreement increases the purchase to 30 firm orders and options that are a combination of both of Gulfstream's new clean-sheet, wide-cabin aircraft, the G500 and G600, and the flagship G650ER. (Source: Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., 19-May-2015)

GRSE launches fourth ASW corvette of Project-28 for the Indian Navy

The fourth Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Corvette of Project-28 for the Indian Navy, christened 'Kavaratti', was launched today at a glittering ceremony held at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE), Kolkata. The Hon. Raksha Rajya Mantri, Shri Rao Inderjit Singh was the Chief Guest at the occasion. In keeping with the nautical traditions, the ship was launched by Smt Manita Singh, wife of the Hon. Raksha Rajya Mantri. After an invocation to the Gods was recited, Smt Manita Singh broke a coconut on the ship's bow, named the ship and wished her future crew good luck. (Source: India Ministry of Defence; 19-May-15)

Airbus launches ACJneo Family with order from Acropolis Aviation

Airbus has launched the ACJneo (new engine option) Family with an order for an ACJ320neo from Acropolis Aviation of Farnborough which is the first to order the new aircraft. Delivery of Acropolis’ ACJ320neo, which will seat 19 passengers, is planned for the fourth quarter of 2018. Cabin outfitting details and engine choice will be decided later. (Source: Airbus, 19-May-2015)

Airbus' A320neo with LEAP- 1A engines takes to the sky for the first time

The first A320neo equipped with CFM International LEAP-1A engines completed its maiden flight today in Toulouse, France. The aircraft, registration F-WNEW, was flown by Experimental Test Pilots P. Perrin and Malcolm Ridley. Accompanying them in the cockpit was Test-Flight Engineer J.M. Pin and monitoring the progress of the flight profile were the Flight-Test Engineers T. Do and P. Pupin. The flight lasted four-hours and 25-mins during which tests were performed to validate the aircraft’s flight envelope up to the maximum altitude (39,000ft) and test the engine speed variation (low/high) in addition to checking systems behaviour. (Source: Airbus, 19-May-2015)

Indian AF Su-30MKI crashes near Tezpur

An Indian Air Force Sukhoi-30MKI went down after a technical snag on Tuesday afternoon. The two pilots, fortunately, managed to eject safely. The twin-seat Sukhoi had taken off from the Tezpur airbase at 1217lt on a routine sortie when a technical problem forced the two pilots to abandon the fighter. The IAF has ordered a court of inquiry to establish the exact reason behind the jet crashing into a thick forest around 36-km south of the Tezpur at 1230lt. Two men and a woman were injured after they were hit by the aircraft debris. Additionally, the impact of the fighter aircraft on the ground created a huge crater. (Source:, 19-May-2015)

Hungarian AF JAS-39D Gripen crashes at Caslav AB

A Hungarian Air Force JAS-39D Gripen crashed at Caslav Air Base in the Czech Republic, located about 67-km east of the capital of Prague. The accident happened during tri-annual Saab Gripen exercise Lion Effort 2015 and may well lead to Saturday’s scheduled airshow being cancelled.The jet went off at the end of the runway at high speed. The crew of two reportedly is okay after ejecting slightly before the aircraft left the runway. The cause of the crash is being investigated. The plane is a write off. The entire cockpit section was destroyed, as well as almost the entire vertical tail and large other parts of the jet. (Source:, 19-May-2015)