Friday, February 24, 2017

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-LAS - Dassault Falcon 900EX (c/n. 219), registered to Tyrolean Jet Service Nfg. GmbH & Co KG, Austria (ex G-ENXA).
  • 9H-NGX - Bombardier Global 6000 (c/n. 9451), registered to Elit'Avia Malta Ltd. (ex N451GX).
  • 9H-AFC - Bombardier Challenger 605 (c/n. 5713), registered to Elit'Avia Malta Ltd. (rrg N778BA)
(Source: Transport Malta, 23-Feb-2017)

Flybe DH8D right main gear collapses after landing at Amsterdam

A Flybe de Havilland Dash 8-400 (G-JECP), performing flight BE-1284 from Edinburgh (U.K.) to Amsterdam (Netherlands) with 59 people on board, landed on Amsterdam's RWY 22 at about 16:55L (15:55Z) but came to a stop on the runway with the right main gear collapsed. 

The crew declared Mayday, Mayday, Mayday reporting the gear had collapsed, they were evacuating onto the runway. Tower reported fire brigades were already on their way and instructed the next arrivals to go around. There were no injuries, the aircraft sustained substantial damage. (Source:, 23-Feb-2017) [Video clip]

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Pakistan's MoD orders additional AW-139s

Leonardo announced today that the Pakistan Ministry of Defence (MoD) has placed orders for an undisclosed number of additional AgustaWestland AW-139 intermediate twin-engine helicopters. The aircraft will be used to perform utility and transport operations across the nation. Deliveries are expected to start in mid-2017. (Source: Leonardo, 20-Feb-2017)

Monday, February 20, 2017

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-LZM - Gulfstream G650 (c/n. 6073), registered to Avcon Jet Malta Ltd. (ex OZ-LZM).
  • 9H-VGH - Bell Helicopter 412 (c/n. 36046), registered to Gulf Med Aviation Services Ltd. (ex A7-HBW)
Cancellation/s: none

(Source: Transport Malta, 16-Feb-2017)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Boeing rolls out the first 787-10 Dreamliner

Boeing rolled out the first 787-10, the third and largest Dreamliner variant, from its plant in North Charleston, South Carolina, the exclusive final assembly site for 787-10 aircraft. More than 5,000 people, many of them Boeing employees, attended a roll-out ceremony.

An 18-foot stretch of the 787-9, the 787-10 can seat 330 passengers in a single-class layout. First flight is expected later this year. First deliveries are slated for 2018 to Singapore Airlines and United Airlines. (Source:, 17-Feb-2017)

Friday, February 17, 2017

Juneyao Airlines signs firm order for five 787-9s, plus five options

Boeing and Juneyao Airlines announced today the finalization of an order for five 787-9 Dreamliners, valued at about $1.32 billion at current list prices. This new order, which also includes options for five more 787-9s, represents the Shanghai-based private airline's first Boeing order and first widebody airplane order. (Source: Boeing, 16-Feb-2017)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Air X Charter wins U.S. foreign air carrier rights

Malta's Air X Charter has been successful in attaining a Foreign Air Carrier Permit (FACP) by the US Department of Transportation (DOT), as well as an exemption authority. 

The Maltese carrier has been approved to conduct charter flights ferrying persons, property and mail from any point or points behind any member state of the European Union, via any point or points in any member state and via intermediate points to any point or points in the United States and beyond.

As previously reported, the luxury charter carrier recently acquired stakes in ViaAir and Elite Business Aircraft, with the latter being rebranded as AirX America. The new entity will use Elite's Part 135 certificate to operate Bombardier Challenger 850s, Cessna Citation 750 Xs and Gulfstream IVSPs. (Source:, 10-Feb-2017)

Lockheed Martin rolls out first LM-100J commercial freighter

Lockheed Martin today officially introduced the world to the latest member of the C-130J Super Hercules family: the LM-100J commercial freighter.  
Employees who designed and built the aircraft celebrated this new Super Hercules with a traditional "roll-out" ceremony held at the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics facility located here. Team members walked this LM-100J out of the building that is home to the Super Hercules production line. The next stop for this milestone Super Hercules is the flightline, where it will prepare for its first flight this spring. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 9-Feb-2017)

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Air Malta A320 struck by lightning on approach to Catania

An Air Malta aeroplane (Airbus A320-200, 9H-AEO) was struck by lightning as it approached the Catania airport earlier today.

In a statement, Air Malta said that no one was injured in the incident and that the aircraft landed safely in Catania.

"It is not uncommon in commercial aviation for aircraft to be struck by lightning," Air Malta’s chief operations officer S. Falzon said. "Aircraft are designed for this eventuality and Air Malta crews are specially trained to handle these situations. Passengers, crew and aircraft were never in any danger, and standard procedure entailed that the aircraft is checked once on ground and before further flight."

Air Malta's flight KM624 to Milan was diverted to Catania to take a team of engineers and parts to service the aircraft that had been struck by lightning, service the aircraft and certify it fir for flight. The aircraft is currently being repaired by the airline’s engineers.

As a consequence of this incident, Air Malta suffered some delays today but the airline expects to have the schedule back on track tonight. (Source:, 9-Feb-2017)

Bell Helicopter receives contract for 24 AH-1Zs for USMC

Bell Helicopter is being awarded $423.4 million for modification P00002 to definitize a previously awarded advance acquisition contract to a fixed-price-incentive modification contract (N00019-16-C-0003). This modification provides for the manufacture and delivery of 25 Lot 14 AH-1Z new build aircraft in support of the H-1 upgrade program in support of the Marine Corps. Work is expected to be completed in February 2020. The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting authority. (Source: U.S. Department of Defense, 8-Feb-2017)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Volotea to operate Bordeaux-Malta service in summer 2017

Volotea announced a new summer route between Bordeaux (France) and Malta IAP with effect from Apr. 13th, 2017. This new route will be offered initially once weekly, then twice weekly from Jun. 26th up to Aug. 31st. Flights will be operated with Airbus A319s. (Source:, 8-Jan-2017)

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for January 2017

The year is off to a flying start at Malta International Airport, with January having exceeded the 300,000 passenger mark for the first time. Hosting precisely 301,289 passengers in January, the airport's traffic for the month increased by 27.3% over 2016. This means that the airport welcomed 64,699 passengers more than it did in its first month last year.

This growth was registered on the back of an upturn in both aircraft movements and seat capacity, which grew by 22.1% and 27.7%, respectively. Enhanced connectivity to markets such as Germany, Spain and Italy was an important contributing factor to this growth. Moreover, seat load factor also increased by 1% to reach 72.7%, indicating that airlines were more efficient in filling up available seats, as more tourists chose to travel to Malta.

The United Kingdom, Italy and Germany were the top three contributors of traffic at Malta International Airport, with all three registering double-digit growth. Accounting for 15,784 and 13,903 passenger movements, Belgium and Spain, were the fourth and fifth top drivers of traffic to Malta during the month of January. 

Looking at the top five airports delivering traffic to Malta, one notes that newcomer Catania Fontanarossa International Airport established itself at the top of the list, following the introduction of added flight frequencies to this airport.

The maximum take-off weight at the airport also experienced a 26.8% growth to reach 104,108 tonnes and the weight of cargo and mail climbed to 1,305 tonnes from the 1,185 tonnes registered in January 2016. (Source:, 7-Feb-2017)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Italian Navy ITS San Giorgio calls at Valletta Port

The Italian Navy San Giorgio-class amphibious transport dock ITS San Giorgio (L 9892) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this afternoon on a courtesy visit.

The Italian amphibian is currently deployed in the Mediterranean and forms part of the E.U.'s Naval Force Mediterranean (Operation Sofia). 

ITS San Giorgio is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-3 wharf, and she's scheduled to sail from Valletta Port tomorrow. (7-Feb-2017)

China Southern Airlines to lease five B787-9s from ALC

Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines has agreed to lease five Boeing 787-9s from Air Lease Corp. (ALC), the Los Angeles-based lessor said.
The aircraft will be powered by GE Aviation GEnx engines. Deliveries of the leased 787-9s to China Southern will start in the 2019 first quarter. The airline will receive three of the 787-9s in 2019 and two in 2020, according to ALC. (Source:, 6-Feb-2017)

Monday, February 6, 2017

USN accepts delivery of destroyer Rafael Peralta

General Dynamics delivered the 65th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer PCU Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) to the U.S. Navy on Feb 3th. DDG 115 is the second Flight IIA restart ship to be delivered to the navy and the first to be built at Bath Iron Works since the program was restarted in 2010. The navy accepted Rafael Peralta after a series of at-sea and pierside trials which demonstrated the ship’s operational readiness. The future USS Rafael Peralta will officially join the fleet during a commissioning ceremony in San Diego later this year. (Source:, 6-Feb-2017)

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Tecnam P2002 light aircraft crash lands at Malta IAP

Nobody was injured when a small single-engine aircraft left the runway on landing (RWY 23) and ended up on the grass at Malta International Airport this afternoon. The Tecnam P2002 light aircraft (9H-SEP) was involved in an accident at around 1625lt.   

Emergency teams were immediately dispatched to the area, an Malta IAP spokeswoman said, and no injuries were reported. The plane was extensively damaged. Airport operations were not affected by the incident. (Source:, 4-Feb-2017)

Royal Navy HMS Echo (H 87) calls at Valletta Port

The Royal Navy Echo-class survery vessel HMS Echo (H 87) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this afternoon on a courtesy visit.

The British survey vessel is currently deployed in the Mediterranean and assigned to E.U. Naval Force Mediterranean (Operation Sofia). 

HMS Echo is presently berthing alongside at Bormla wharf (in French creek), and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port in two weeks time. (4-Feb-2017)

USN decommissions first nuclear aircraft carrier USS Enterprise

The aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CVN 65), was decommissioned by the U.S. Navy during a ceremony held in the ship's hangar bay, Feb. 3rd. The ceremony not only marked the end the ship's nearly 55-year career, it also served as the very first decommissioning of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

Capt. T. Beltz, commanding officer of the Enterprise, addressed the ship's company, former commanding officers and distinguished visitors and spoke of where the true spirit of "The Big E" comes from. (Source: U.S. Navy, 3-Feb-2017)

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Houthi rebels attack a Saudi Arabian Navy frigate off the coast of Yemen

A Saudi Arabian Navy frigate was attacked by Houthi rebels off the coast of Yemen on Jan. 30th. The attacked vessel is one of the four Al Madinah-class frigates built for the Saudi Navy in the 80's.

Saudi officials later confirmed the attack adding that Houthi fighters carried out the attack using "suicide boats", English language news site Al Arabiya reported.
Officials said that one of the boats struck into the rear of the ship causing an explosion that killed two and injured three other sailors. The other suicide boats were neutralized. (Source, 31-Jan-2017) [Video clip]