Wednesday, January 28, 2015

German Navy FGS Erfurt in Valletta Port

The German Navy Braunschweig-class corvette FGS Erfurt(F 262) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. 

The German corvette is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-5 wharf, and she's expected to sail from Malta tomorrow, January 29th. (28-Jan-2015)

JAL firms up order for 32 Mitsubishi Regional Jets

Japan Airlines (JAL) signed an agreement with Mitsubishi Aircraft for the purchase of  32 firm Mitsubishi Regional Jet aircraft. JAL and Mitsubishi Aircraft signed a Letter of Intent on Aug. 28th, 2014, and have moved forward to conclude this agreement on Jan. 28th, 2015. Deliveries to JAL are scheduled to commence in 2021. (Source: Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp, 28-Jan-2015)

Medavia opens flights to Tripoli to general public

Medavia has opened up its weekly Malta to Tripoli-Mitiga service to the general public effective Jan. 19th. The Beech 1900D-operated flights, which Medavia has been plying for an oil company on an ad-hoc charter basis for the last two months, are sold in conjunction with FCm Travel Solutions. (Source:, 27-Jan-2015)

Indian AF MiG-27 crashes on the outskirts of Barmer in Rajasthan

An Indian Air Force MiG-27 crashed in a densely populated area on the outskirts of Barmer in Rajasthan today, but no casualties were reported after the pilot ejected to safety, the army said. Parts of the plane’s wreckage, however, fell on a biker and injured him. The aircraft was on a routine sortie and crashed at 1510lt, confirmed an army spokesperson. He said the air force had sent a search and rescue team and ordered a court of inquiry. (Source:, 27-Jan-2015)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

American Airlines takes delivery of its first B787-8

American Airlines took delivery of its first B787-8 Dreamliner (N800AN, msn 40618) at a ceremony held at Dallas/Fort Worth on Friday, Jan. 23rd. The first of sixteen of the type on order from Boeing, the jet must first complete the acceptance process before deploying it into revenue service during the next quarter. (Source: ch-aviation, 27-Jan-2015)

Boeing receives order for eight AH-64Es for Indonisia

Boeing was awarded a US$295.9 million firm-fixed-price foreign military sales (Indonesia) contract for eight AH64E Apache attack helicopters. Work will be performed in Mesa, Arizona with an estimated completion date of Feb. 28th, 2018. One bid was solicited with one received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama is the contracting activity. (Source: U.S. Department of Defense, 26-Jan-2015)

Botswana orders three AS-350 B3e helicopters for its Police Service

Botswana's Police Service today signed for a contract with Airbus Helicopters for three new AS-350 B3e Ecureuils for its Air Support Branch. The new helicopters will be customised to the Botswana Police Service's specification, including the installation of night vision equipment for night-time operations and other law enforcement equipment. The start of delivery of the new aircraft is scheduled for later in 2015. (Source: Airbus Helicopters, 26-Jan-2015)

Canada orders six Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships

The Canadian Government awarded a contract for the construction of six Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) to Irving Shipbuilding Inc as part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS). This contract, valued at $2.3 billion, marks the start of the construction phase under the NSPS. Construction of an initial block for the first AOPS is scheduled for the summer, while full production will commence in September 2015. Delivery of the first HMCS Harry DeWolf class ship is expected in 2018. (Source:, 26-Jan-2015)

Malta's Hermes Aviation suspends operations

Hermes Aviation has been forced to suspend operations after the Maltese Department of Civil Aviation (DCAM) suspended its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) last week.  Malta's Independent newspaper says the DCAM has now launched an investigation into the carrier's operations following a request by Italy's regulatory body (ENAC).

Since launching flights connecting Malta, Sicily and Italy late last year in December, the airline, under its FlyHermes brand, has suffered numerous delays and cancellations leading ENAC to warn that it would ban the carrier from serving Italy altogether unless it dramatically improved the quality of its service. (Source:, 26-Jan-2015)

Hellenic AF F-16D crashes at Albacete AB

A Hellenic Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16D crashed today at Albacete AB (Spain) while taking part in NATO’s Tactical Leadership Program (TLP 2015-1). The crashing airplane hit aircraft that were parked on the platform, with ground crew working there. The two F-16 crew members are confirmed dead, while another eight people died on the ground, with 21 people reported wounded

The accident happened around 1530lt, apparently right after the F-16D took-off. Eye-witnesses reported a big explosion and fire. The Spanish Ministry of Defence later confirmed the jet lost power during take-off, its crew was unable to lift the aircraft and steer it away from parked planes on the platform. The department confirmed ten fatalities, two pilots and eight French nationals on the ground. Of the 21 wounded 11 are French, ten are Italian. (Source:, 26-Jan-2015)

Monday, January 26, 2015

easyJet A319 en route to Malta diverts to Catania due to bad weather

An easyJet Airbus A319-100 (G-EZDH), performing flight U2-1995 from Manchester (UK) to Malta IAP, had to divert to Catania-Fontanarossa (Siciliy) this early afternoon due to bad weather at Malta International Airport. The flight then continued to Malta landing with a delay of nearly two-hours 30-mins. (10-Dec-2013)

USS Rodney M. Davis decommissions afters 28 years of USN service

Sailors and guests bade farewell to the Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) as the ship concluded 28 years of naval service during a decommissioning ceremony on NS Everett, WA, Jan. 23rd. Retired Cmdr. C. R. Heckert, the first commanding officer of Rodney M. Davis and Capt. W. M. Triplett, former commander of Destroyer Squadron 9 were guest speakers for the decommissioning. Several former crew members, plank owners, friends and family also attended. (Source: U.S. Navy, 26-Jan-2015)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Malta IAP hosted 4.29 million passengers in 2014

Malta International Airport welcomed a total of 4,290,304 passengers in 2014, a 6.4% increase over the previous year. The growth is the result of further capacity being deployed to Malta from operating airlines. 2014 saw also an increase in aircraft movements by 4.8%, resulting in an equal increase in seat capacity.

Besides an increase in available flights and seats to and from Malta, the airlines flying through the airport also succeeded in increasing the seat load factor, meaning that aircraft were on average fuller than in 2013, from 78.5% to 79.7%. Meanwhile, cargo and mail dropped by 3.1%, from 16,038 tonnes to 15,547 tonnes.

Last year, the airport saw unprecedented passenger numbers from its four major markets, with significant growth registered for the U.K. (6.1%), Italy (12.1%), Germany (3.2%) and France (17%). There was a large drop of 25.8% in traffic from Spain, the fifth largest market, due to weakening demand in Spanish outbound leisure tourism which resulted in a significant seat capacity drop. (Source:, 23-Jan-2015)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Horizon Air converts two Q400 NextGen options to firm orders

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced today that Seattle-based Horizon Air has converted two of seven previously acquired Q400 NextGen aircraft options to firm orders. The airline retains its options on another five Q400 NextGen aircraft. Based on the list price of the Q400 NextGen aircraft, the purchase agreement is valued at approximately US$70.1 million.

Air India B788 diverts to Budapest due to an engine shut down in flight

An Air India Boeing B787-800 (VT-ANL), performing flight AI-130 from London-Heathrow (UK) to Mumbai (India), was enroute at FL390 about 240-nm west of Budapest still in Serbian airspace when the crew needed to shut the right hand engine (GEnx) down, drifted down to FL230 and diverted to Budapest (Hungary) dumping fuel on the way to Budapest. The aircraft landed safely on Budapest's RWY 31R about 50-mins after leaving FL390. (Source:, 22-Jan-2015)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

ATR releases orders and deliveries results for 2014

The year 2014 ended for ATR beating last years' records in sales; deliveries, turnover and backlog. The aircraft manufacturer's sales increased to 160 aircraft, along with 120 options, exceeding the previous 2011 record (157 firm sales and 79 options). ATR also achieved a record turnover in 2014, reaching €1.63 billion in 2013, and increased its deliveries to 83 aircraft (compared with 74 in 2013). As a result of the extraordinary commercial year experienced by ATR, 2014 ended with 280 aircraft in its backlog, an end-of-year level never reached until now. (Source: ATR, 21-Jan-2015)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Icelandic Coast Guard Tyr in Valletta Port

The Icelandic Coast Guard Aegir-class offshore-patrol vessel Tyr has sailed into Valletta Port this morning on a courtesy visit. OPv Tyr is currently deployed in the central Mediterranean sea as part of Frontex's Operation Triton.

The Icelandic OPV is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-4 wharf, and she's expected to sail from Malta on Sunday, January 25th. (21-Jan-2015)

Air India B788 returns to Delhi due to an engine shut down in flight

An Air India Boeing B787-800 (VT-ANH), performing flight AI-314 (on Jan. 19th) from Delhi (India) to Hong Kong (China) with 238 passengers and ten  crew, was in the initial climb out of Delhi's RWY 11 when the right hand engine needed to be shut down. The crew levelled off at 2500 feet and returned to Delhi for a safe landing on RWY 11 19-mins after departure. (Source:, 20-Jan-2015)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Red Wings takes delivery of its 1st SSJ-100 on lease

On Jan. 19th, 2014, Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft joined the fleet of the Russian airline – Red Wings. The airliner, with a tail number RA-89021, was ferried from the delivery center of Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co. to Moscow-Domodedovo – home base of the airline. The aircraft has become the first from three SSJ-100 to be delivered to the airline.

In accordance with Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft Lease Agreement signed in October 2014 between Russian airline Red Wings and Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co., the leasing period of three SSJ-100 shall be three years with possible extension. SSJ-100 is being delivered to Red Wings in 93-seat two-class cabin configuration. (Source: Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co., 20-Jan-2015)

Air New Zealand B763 diverts to Melbourne due to an engine shut in flight

An Air New Zealand Boeing 767-300 (ZK-NCL), performing flight NZ-161 (on Jan. 17th) from Christchurch (New Zealand) to Perth (Australia), was en route at FL360 over the Great Australian Bight about 580-nm WNW of Melbourne (Australia) when the crew decided to shut down an engine (CF6) reporting a low engine oil pressure. The aircraft drifted down to FL250, turned around and diverted to Melbourne for a safe landing on RWY 16 about 90-mins after leaving FL360. (Source:, 19-Jan-2015)

Syrian AF AN26 crashes near Abu adh Dhuhur AB

A Syrian Air Force Antonov 26 transport plane (YK-AND) crashed near Abu adh Dhuhur Air Base, killing all 30 souls on board. According to state media the airplane crashed due to fog. The Syrian wing of al Qaeda, the Nusra Front, however claimed that it shot down the aircraft. Photos were posted showing that the aircraft broke up after impacting the ground. (Source:, 18-Jan-2015)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Air Europa orders 14 787-9 Dreamliners

Boeing and Air Europa today announced an order for 14 787-9 Dreamliners, valued at US$3.6 billion at list prices. The order was booked in December 2014 and was previously attributed to an unidentified customer on the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website. Air Europa now has a combined total of 22 787-8s and 787-9s on order. (Source: Boeing, 15-Dec-2015)

Aeroflot signs letter of intent for 20 additional SSJ-100s

Aeroflot and Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co. have signed an agreement on delivery of 20 Sukhoi Superjet 100. Aircraft will be purchased additionally to current firm contract for delivery of 30 aircraft of that type. Thus, by 2017 the fleet of the leading Russian airline would have 50 SSJ100 aircraft in total. (Source: Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co., 15-Jan-2015)

Peru orders two additional C-27J Spartans

Peruvian MoD signed a contract with Alenia Aermacchi, on Dec. 31st, 2014, valued at around €100 million, for two additional C-27J Spartans. The contract, which brings the number of C-27J Spartans ordered by the Peruvian AF to four, also includes integrated logistic support and technical assistance. The first two aircraft, ordered in December 2013, will be delivered to FAP in the first few months of 2015, while the second order will be delivered in 2016 and 2017. The aircraft will be operated by 8th Air Group based at Callao, on the country's central coast. (Source: Finmeccanica, 15-Jan-2015)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Asiana Cargo B744 diverts to Novosibirsk due to smoke indication in cabin

An Asiana Cargo Airlines Boeing B747-400 freighter (HL7417), performing flight OZ-784 (on Jan. 13th) from Oslo (Norway) to Seoul (South Korea) with four crew, was enroute at FL350 about 190-nm northeast of Novosibirsk when the crew received indication of smoke in the cabin and decided to divert to Novosibirsk, where the aircraft landed safely on RWY 07 about 35-mins later. (Source:, 14-Jan-2015)