24 June 2013

A really bad day at the office for these pilots!

The chain of events leading to this February 2006 runway overrun by a business jet in Northern Germany reported on 24 May 2013 by John Croft in the Things with Wings blog is quite amazing.

The official 22 page accident report gives more details.

26 February 2012

Podcasts

A couple of years ago when I first got an iPhone I downloaded from iTunes and listened to an aviation podcast. I was not impressed as the speakers were amateur enthusiasts who were clearly not that well informed.

I then started listening to EconTalk, a series of excellent podcasts by economist Russ Roberts from GMU in Virginia (he also blogs at Cafe Hayek). Each week he interviews at length a distinguished economist in a manner that is not overly technical.

For lighter relief I have been listening to the Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4. These generally take the form of a quiz or short monologues focussed on the latest political news from the UK.

More recently, I have been listening to a couple of much more professionally done aviation podcasts.


They have turned out to be excellent with coverage of civil and miltary aviation, including aviation history and technology. I have been listening to older episodes and have even sent off a couple of possible "Grill the Geeks" questions to the USA.

These have all been great listening while walking our two dogs.

Microblogging

Over the last few months I have become a fan of using Twitter (posts should be 140 characters or less and URLs are usually shortened) and some of the web links that I have previously been posting here are now being sent out from @aeropolitics  It is also an excellent method for following other relevant Twitter accounts on the latest developments around the world as they happen. I will, however. be making an effort to catch up on my weblog posting.

I have also started helping the New Zealand Division of the Royal Aeronautical Society (I am a Council member) with tweets focussed on New Zealand aviation news using the brand name @aerospacenz

And I am still using @macilree for short messages of a more personal nature.

As this can often be done from my "old" iPhone it is generally a much quicker way of providing links to information that may be of interest to others.

To assist I am using Tweetdeck both on our PC and my smartphone.

17 November 2011

ECJ Advocate General releases opinion on extension of EU ETS to cover international aviation

On 6 October 2011 the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) issued a press release and non-binding legal opinion on the case (C-366/10) brought by the Air Transport Association of America and Others (see previous post).

Reaction from interested parties the same day included statements from:
Media coverage of the opinion and related reaction included:
While airline opposition might be expected, of much greater significance is the reaction of foreign governments.

As might be expected, the opinion has been of considerable interest to international law academics. Aviation Law Prof Blog from DePaul University in Chicago has been providing commentary and links to other work:

Canada signs expanded air agreement with Japan

On 1 October 2011 the Canadian Ministers of International Trade and Transport announced that Canada had negotiated new air services arrangements with Japan (see previous post).

04 October 2011

Australia concludes open air services agreement with Japan

On 30 September 2011 the Australian Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Hon Anthony Albanese, announced that Australia had negotiated a new open air services agreement with Japan. For Australian airlines the arrangements include time-restricted access to Haneda airport in Tokyo and open access to Narita airport from 2013. While described as "open skies", some slot-related restrictions on access to these Tokyo airports remain for the time being. Also included are fifth freedom rights for Australian airlines beyond Japan to third countries.

On 16 August 2011 the Qantas group had announced that it will be entering into a new joint venture with Japan Airlines and Mitsubishi Corporation to establish Jetstar Japan. Although announced as a domestic operation, this new joint venture could qualify to use Japanese international air rights.

18 September 2011

UK has air services negotiations scheduled with Japan

The United Kingdom Forward Programme of Possible Bilateral Air Services Talks published by the Department for Transport has negotiations scheduled for September 2011 with Cuba, Egypt and Turkmenistan.

More interestingly it states that the UK has negotiations scheduled with Japan for 17-19 January 2012. With the recent talks with Canada (see previous post), Japan is clearly starting to work through a priority list of countries outside of East Asia (see previous post) as it implements its "open skies" policy.

UK Government responds to Committee on Climate Change Aviation Report

On 25 August 2011 the UK Department for Transport published a government response to the Aviation Report issued by the Committee for Climate Change (CCC) in December 2009 (see previous post).

The response focusses on an estimated marginal abatement cost curve to reduce CO2 emissions from UK aviation.

APEC Transportation Ministers meet in San Francisco

APEC Transportation Ministers met in San Francisco on 14 September 2011. The Ministerial Joint Statement released at the meeting makes specific mention of the Multilateral Agreement on the Liberalization of International Air Transportation (MALIAT).

APEC has long taken an interest in the economic regulation of international air transport. In the late 1990s it developed and prioritised eight options for reform and these were endorsed when APEC Leaders met and issued the Auckland Challenge on 13 September 1999 (see page 4).

Guiding APEC's work in trade have been the Bogor goals set by Leaders in 1994.

NZ Commerce Commission has a win in air cargo pricing court case

On 26 August 2011 the New Zealand Commerce Commission announced that it had won a procedural judgement in the High Court in its case against nine airlines (see previous post).

Australian Productivity Commission releases draft report on airport regulation

On 22 August 2011 the Australian Productivity Commission released a draft report on the Economic Regulation of Airport Services. The final date for submissions is 23 September 2011.

Our Standard Poodles enjoy their 15 minutes of fame

Morgan and Bree, our two Standard Poodles, along with my wife Wendy and I feature in a Rugby World Cup-related article and photograph on the second page of Wellington's main newspaper the Dominion Post on Saturday, 17 September 2011. The dogs had All Blacks and England team logos applied to their fur when they were groomed on Friday.

Morgan does actually watch the television, although he tends to prefer watching quadrupeds rather than bipeds, and Bree is obsessed by balls.

India's Comptroller and Auditor General Examines Air India

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has recently released a Performance Audit of Civil Aviation in India. The audit commenced in September 2009 and the report was tabled in Parliament on 8 September 2011.

For me the most interesting part of the report was Chapter 5 which looks at India's bilateral air services arrangements during a period of fundamental change in India's international air transport policy. Of particular concern to the auditors was the extent of sixth freedom carriage by many of the foreign airlines serving India, notably from small city states. Sixth freedom carriage in this context involves a foreign international airline is carrying traffic between India and a third country via its home country. Seeking to limit such carriage is a traditional approach to air rights exchanges dating back to the 1946 Bermuda 1 arrangements between the UK and the USA (see previous post).

What I had not expected to see was the extent to which European carriers serving India have as high a proportion of sixth freedom carriage as airlines from the Gulf. An 18 September 2011 article in the Business Standard reports on the data.

The auditors also focus in particular on the failure of the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation to secure Dubai's agreement to a "change of gauge" provision. If this was considered important surely the Indian negotiators would have made it the price for agreeing to capacity increases for Emirates?

A 10 September 2011 report in the Indian Express covers the reaction to the report from the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

It would seem that India has no intention of seeking to wind back existing air services arrangements but one has to wonder what impact this report will have on future negotiations, particularly as there was a change of Civil Aviation Minister in India from Praful Patel to Vyalar Ravi in January 2011.

Air India recently had its application to join the Star alliance suspended (see 31 July 2011 media release) and there is now some doubt about its large order for new Boeing aircraft, including the B787.

In the 1960s Air India was one of the great airlines of the world with its wonderful Maharaja character. However, past failures to agree to replace older airliners has left the airline with a relatively old fleet.

"Breaking the Surly Bonds of Economic Regulation" by Chris Lyle

Consultant and former senior official at ICAO, Chris Lyle of Air Transport Economics in Canada published an article in August 2011 suggesting a way forward towards liberalising international air transport economic regulation involving a club approach.

Although I would not uncritically accept what he has to say, it is well worth reading.

Japan negotiating "open skies" agreement with Canada

CAPA reported that Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MILT) announced on 9 September 2011 that it would be negotiating an open skies agreement with Canada commencing on 13-14 September 2011 in Vancouver.

MILT noted that this would be only the second such agreement outside of East Asia, the first having been with the United States (see previous post).

New Zealand Productivity Commission International Freight Transport Services Inquiry

The new New Zealand Productivity Commission (modelled on its Australian counterpart) is conducting an Inquiry into International Freight Transport Services. The Commission is looking at both aviation and maritime services, including air and sea ports (New Zealand has no land borders).

The Terms of Reference for the Inquiry were released in March 2011 and on 13 July 2011 the Commission released a 78-page Issues Paper with 79 specific questions.

Submissions are now being made available on the Commission's web site. To date those from the aviation industry have included submissions from the Aviation Industry Association, Board of Airline Representatives NZ, New Zealand Air Cargo Council, NZ Airports Association, and Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch airports.

04 September 2011

New Zealand Government releases transport policy direction statement

On 31 August 2011 the New Zealand Minister of Transport, Hon. Steven Joyce, released a new 44-page transport policy direction statement, Connecting New Zealand.

In contrast to the previous coalition government's 2008 New Zealand Transport Strategy (see previous post), Connecting New Zealand includes three pages specifically focussed on civil aviation.

Road safety continues to be a major priority. Also featured are the Roads of National Significance, a programme of investment in the road network around New Zealand's three main centres, and major investment in rail.

Australian draft report on the Regulation of Airport Services

On 22 August 2011 the Australian Productivity Commission released a draft report on the Economic Regulation of Airport Services.

An Issues paper was issued back in January 2011.

The Commission's final report to the government is scheduled to be made in December 2011.

New Zealand domestic air transport trends to June 2011

Since I last looked at the trends in domestic air passenger numbers twelve months ago by charting the numbers through the three main airports (see previous post) there have been some major external shocks.

Christchurch has been hit by three major earthquakes (7.1 magnitude on 4 September 2010, 6.3 on 22 February 2011 with 181 fatalities and 6.3 on 13 June 2011) and thousands of aftershocks. This was followed by disruption caused by the 4 June 2011 eruption of Puyehue volcano in Chile.

In addition, Pacific Blue withdrew from the New Zealand domestic market on 18 October 2010 leaving Jetstar to compete with Air New Zealand. It is not surprising therefore that domestic air transport have seen some large monthly declines in the year to June 2011.



On a more positive note, the progressive replacement of Air New Zealand's domestic B737-300 aircraft (133 seats) with A320 aircraft (171 seats) can be expected to boost domestic passenger numbers. Already this has been causing congestion at the main domestic screening point at Auckland airport. On 9 August 2011 the airport company announced that this was being addressed.

I am now monitoring monthly domestic passenger numbers at Queenstown Airport and may include these in a future update.

13 August 2011

Getting Paid by Gov't. for NOT Flying Passengers

A weblog post on Carpe Diem from a US economist, Mark Perry, about the Essential Air Service Program in the United States where they have a fiscal crisis, CARPE DIEM: Getting Paid by Gov't. for NOT Flying Passengers, caught my attention. For a mad moment I have been contemplating how I would answer his question: "... what is the best kind of airplane not to fly passengers on ..."

Canada liberalises air services arrangements with Mexico

On 12 August 2011 the Canadian government announced that it has expanded its air transport agreement with Mexico.

The key feature of the new arrangements is the removal of capacity limits on direct (3rd/4th freedom) flights between the two countries.

Tariffs regulation provisions have also been liberalised, and the safety and security articles updates.

11 August 2011

Brazil signs new air transport agreement with Canada

The Canadian Prime Minister's Office has announced from Brasilia that on 8 August 2011 Canada signed a new Air Transport Agreement with Brazil.

The new arrangements include provision for third-country code-sharing.

They have been welcomed by Air Canada and WestJet.

24 July 2011

US Congress to ban US airlines participating in EU ETS?

On 20 July 2011 the US House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee announced that it is intended to ban US airlines participating in the "illegal" coverage of international aviation by the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme by means of a short, 5-section Bill.

GreenAir Online covers the development in a 21 July 2011 article, and includes reaction from MEPs.

Many such bills will not make it into law but the fact that this one has bipartisan support suggests that it should not be taken lightly. With key interests in both the United States and China (see previous post) both firmly opposed to the unilateral action being taken by the European Union, as Flightglobal journalist Will Horton has noted, this could get ugly.

US airlines case against EU ETS coverage heard by European Court of Justice

On 5 July 2011 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) heard a case (C-366/10) brought by the US Air Transport Association (ATA), American Airlines and United Continental Holdings against their inclusion the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS)(see previous post).

The ATA has published it oral argument and written observations here.

The Aviation Environment Federation issued a statement noting some of the arguments put in favour of the legality of extending coverage.

The hearing was covered 6 July 2011 articles in Air Transport World and Aviation Week.

An opinion on the case will be delivered by the Advocate General on 6 October 2011 with a final judgement to follow later.

New Zealand Government mandates air services negotiations in East Asia and South America

On 14 July 2011 the New Zealand Associate Minister of Transport, Nathan Guy, announced that New Zealand's air services negotiators had been issued with mandates for negotiations with up to 10 countries in East Asia and South America. China and Brazil were specifically named. These regions are seen as emerging markets with considerable growth potential. In addition, the prospect of Auckland (AKL) gaining a share of East Asia-South America traffic is referred to. The statement refers to the LAN-Cathay Pacific code share via Auckland (see previous post).

Auckland and Christchurch airports both made media statements welcoming the announcement.

On 15 July 2011 Flight Global (Will Horton) and Aviation Week (Adrian Schofield) covered the news. The latter noted that capacity restrictions applied under New Zealand's current air services agreements with China and Brazil.

A 21 July 2011 Air Transport Intelligence article by Will Horton notes the technology and alliance challenges Air New Zealand faces if it is to serve Brazil.

The Minister's media statement also announced the New Zealand had reached agreement with the Netherlands to remove restrictions on code sharing. This allows SkyTeam member, KLM, to code share to AKL via Guangzhou on the new China Southern operation (see previous post). KLM has been code sharing to New Zealand on Malaysia Airlines which is joining the oneworld alliance.

10 July 2011

"Aerotropolis - The Way We'll Live Next" by John Kasarda and Greg Lindsay

I had expected that this book would be more of an academic work than what it is - largely one of business journalism - but it is well worth a read nonetheless.

Aerotropolis gives a good picture of the role that civil aviation is now playing in globalisation, and how airports have become central to modern economies and urban development.

Featured in the book are developments around:

  • Incheon (ICN) - where a new city, Songdo, is being built
  • Los Angeles (LAX) - where the airport had not been supported
  • Dulles (IAD) - near Washington DC in a wealthy and growing part of Virginia
  • Chicago (ORD) - where there were plans for an additional airport
  • Memphis (MEM) and Louisville (SDF) - hubs for FedEx and UPS respectively
  • Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) - hub for American Airlines
  • Detroit (DTW) - second hub for Delta with links to Asia and looking to build a Detroit Region Aerotropolis
  • Denver (DEN) - where a completely new airport was opened
  • Amsterdam (AMS) - with its associated flower market
  • Dubai (DXB), Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Doha (DOH) - with their competing global ambitions
  • Bangkok (BKK) - where a new airport has been built on a swamp
  • Hong Kong (HKG), Guangzhou (CAN) and Shenzhen (SZX) - vital to the success of manufacturing in the Pearl River Delta

For me, the book's coverage of developments in China was the most interesting, perhaps because it was the least familiar.

Memorable concepts from the book include:

  • "Kasarda's Law of Connectivity: every technology meant to circumvent distances electronically ... will only stoke our desire to transverse [distance] ourselves."
  • "Individual companies don't compete. Supply chains compete. Networks and systems compete."
  • Marchetti's Constant

One piece of advice that is actually included late in the book. Use Google Earth while reading "Aerotropolis" to get an idea of the lie of the land around the airports being referred to.

Reviews of the book have appeared in:


It is clear that civil aviation in general and the future that Kasarda outlines have their sceptics and this book is somewhat provocative.

An earlier 1 July 2006 article, Rise of the Aerotropolis, on the concept by Greg Lindsay appeared in Fast Company.

03 July 2011

Seat capacity limit between Australia and Indonesia increased

On 1 July 2011 the Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Hon Anthony Albanese, announced UPDATED that Australia and Indonesia had reached an understanding to increase the seat capacity that may be operated by the airlines of the two countries by 86% to 27,500 seats per week.

The Minister's statement highlighted the 32% average annual growth in passenger demand between the two countries over the last three years.

26 June 2011

Qantas and American Airlines seek approval for Joint Business Agreement

Just two days after interim US DOT approval of the alliance between Delta and Virgin Blue was announced (see previous post), oneworld alliance members Qantas and American Airlines on 12 May 2011 filed with the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) for approval of a Joint Business Agreement (JBA). (The reference for the parallel filing made with the US Department of Transportation is DOT-OST-2011-0111.)

On 16 May 2011 Qantas announced that it had commenced direct flights from Sydney (SYD) to American's major hub Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) returning to SYD via Brisbane (BNE). Qantas uses its B747-400ER aircraft for this ultra-long-range operation. On 14 May 2011 Qantas ceased operating to San Francisco (SFO).

Interim approval was granted by the ACCC on 9 June 2011.

Virgin Blue alliance with Delta approved by US DOT

On 10 May 2011 the US Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that, after substantial changes had been made to the application (docket DOT-OST-2009-0155), it proposed to approve anti-trust immunity for an alliance between Delta Air Lines and Virgin Blue Airlines (see previous post).

This came after a 2 May 2011 announcement that the two airlines were expanding their code-share arrangements.

Note that on 4 May 2011 Virgin Blue announced that it was changing its name to Virgin Australia.

On 10 June 2011 the two airlines announced that they welcomed final US DOT approval of the alliance.


Royal Brunei ceasing operations to Auckland

On 21 June 2011 Royal Brunei Airlines (BI) announced that it is to cease operation to Auckland (AKL), Brisbane (BNE), Perth (PER) and Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) at the end of October 2011.

On 29 March 2011 Royal Brunei commenced operations to Melbourne which in future will be the only airport in Australasia that it serves.

Royal Brunei has been operating to New Zealand since 2003 under the "open skies" MALIAT.

No doubt the commencement of operations to AKL in early 2011 by four new airline operators from East Asia (see previous post) will have influenced Royal Brunei's decision to withdraw.

06 June 2011

The 1935 UK-USA bilateral air navigation arrangement

The arrangements on air services reached between the United Kingdom and the United States of America at Bermuda in 1946 created a model for many of the bilateral air services arrangements (see previous post).

What is less widely know are the details of the earlier 1935 arrangement that took the form of an Exchange of Notes (EoN) on 28 March and 5 April.

In this EoN can be seen many of the features that would appear in post Second World War bilaterals.

What is notably missing from the EoN is the right for UK airlines to operate to Hawaii.

As Dutch aviation historian Marc Dierikx notes in his article "Shaping world aviation. Anglo-American civil aviation relations, 1944-1946" (Journal of Air Law and Commerce 57(1992) nr. 4, p. 795-840), the EoN did not come into practical effect until the airlines of both sides (Pan American and Imperial Airways) were ready to commence regular flying boat operations across the Atlantic. This did not happen until 1939.

Australia signs new air services understandings with Saudi Arabia and Oman

On 21 April 2011 the Australian Minister of Infrastructure and Transport announced that Australia had signed new understandings with Saudi Arabia and Oman. Both provide for restricted access to Australia's main airports. The statement notes that work is continuing on finalising the associate air services agreements.

More new air services arrangements signed by the UAE

The United Arab Emirates has added to its already impressive list of air services agreements (see previous post) by announcing the conclusion of new air services arrangements with (dates are when a statement was posted):

Bangladesh - 14 April 2011
Montenegro - 14 April 2011
Uruguay - 9 May 2011
Colombia - 16 May 2011
Mali - 22 May 2011

The GCCA's statement with respect to Bangladesh rather surprisingly seems to give details of what is supposed to be a Confidential Memorandum of Understanding!

Alleged air cargo rate fixing case reaches court in New Zealand

The NZ Herald reported on court action taken by the Commerce Commission into alleged price fixing by nine international airlines serving the New Zealand market (see previous post) on:

9 May 2011 - "Airlines' price fix case starts in court"
11 May 2011 - "Air cargo cartel case opens in High Court"
12 May 2011 - "Qantas fined $6.5m for price fixing"
12 May 2011 - "Air NZ in court as price-fixing case gets under way"
13 May 2011 - "Qantas hit with record $6.5 million fine"
14 May 2011 - "Cartel case out of line, say airlines"

The Commerce Commission has made a number of media releases on the case:

20 March 2009 - "Commerce Commission procedure in accordance with standard best practice"
11 March 2011 - "Court of Appeal rules on use of confidentiality orders"
18 March 2011 - "Settlements in cartel case as Commerce Commission prepares for Court"
5 April 2011 - "$7.6 million imposed against two airlines in air cargo cartel case" - British Airways and Cargolux
20 April 2011 - "Commerce Commission narrows focus of air cargo cartel case before trial"
27 April 2011 - "Airlines' information request case resolved" - Singapore Airlines Cargo and Cathay Pacific
12 May 2011 - "Court awards highest penalty to date in price fixing" - this statement notes similar action taken in Australia, the United States, the European Union, Canada and South Korea

Air New Zealand has also issued related media statements:

18 March 2011 - in response to a Qantas media statement issued on the same day
20 April 2011

On 17 May 2010 the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced that it was taking action against Air New Zealand. On 18 May 2010 Air Transport World reported Air New Zealand's reaction.

On 11 November 2010 the NZ Herald reported that Air New Zealand had been dropped from similar action taken by the European Commission (see previous post).

31 May 2011

OECD meeting of transport experts

On 15-16 November 2010 the OECD hosted a meeting of transport experts, including representatives from ICAO, the World Bank, the WTO and IATA, as well as academics, to discuss the development of a services trade restrictiveness index.

A Highlights of Discussions document has been released by the OECD along with presentations and background documents.

A particularly thought provoking paper is that by Kenneth Button from George Mason University on Air Transportation Services: Both a Traded Commodity and a Transactions Cost in Trade.

24 April 2011

My Grandfather Edgar Thomson Shand RFC

For ANZAC Day 2011 here is a previously unpublished photograph of my grandfather, Edgar Thomson Shand, wearing his Royal Flying Corps (RFC) uniform.


Edgar Shand (28 February 1891-15 January 1938 aged 47) went to Egypt in 1916 as a Second Lieutenant (9/2027) to join D Squadron of the Otago Mounted Rifles where he transferred to the RFC (PI 7225) in 1916 (see Supplement to the London Gazette, 17 October 1916, page 10067) and trained as a Observer.

He joined 17 Squadron of the RFC and served briefly on the Macedonian Front where he was wounded in action:

"On August 19th [1916] an Army Reconnaissance was carried out over the Carniste-Valandovo area [near Salonika], the BE2c machine being escorted by a two-seater Nieuport (110 Clerget) attached from the French Aviation. This reconnaissance machine was attacked by an Aviatik which was immediately engaged by the Nieuport. In the course of the combat the French pilot, Lieutenant Ducas and the English Observer, Lieutenant Shand were both wounded. They, however, succeeded in driving off the enemy machine and returned safely to their Aerodrome."

On 20 July 1917 the Evening Post carried an account NEW of a talk he gave on his RFC experiences (HT to Dr Don MacKay).

On 2 August 1917 the Poverty Bay Herald carried his account NEW of the action near Salonika in an article entitled "Fight at 11,000 feet."

A photograph of him on the SS Galeka evacuating him from Salonika in September 1916 is available here NEW.

He was reported in a list of the sick and wounded to have disembarked from a hospital ship at Malta on 12 September 1916, reported on 4 October 1916 to be embarked for England and then reported to have arrived back in Auckland, New Zealand on 29 April 1917. His transfer to the RFC was approved on 1 August 1916 but not reported in the New Zealand Gazette until 1917.

He went on to serve in the Army (and was keep on in the Royal Air Force (RAF)) in New Zealand, first as Adjutant, Otago University Officers Training Corps and then on the staff of Colonel A. V. Bettington (see page 7 - Footnote 4: J.M.S. Ross: Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939-45; Royal New Zealand Air Force: Wellington: 1955).

In Henry (later Sir Henry) Wigram's diary for 28 Aug 1919 there appears this brief mention of Shand (HT to Errol Martyn):

"Went out with A [HW's wife Agnes] to aerodrome [i.e. Sockburn, now Wigram], the machines [2 Bristol Fighters and 2 DH4s] ex Matatua were arriving and being assembled under direction of Capt [John Hallan] Don and Mr Shand, there were about 120 cases some of them 30 feet long by 9 ft high which only just squeezed through the [Lyttelton] tunnel."

My grandfather relinquished his commission on 2 February 1920 (see the London Gazette, 13 February 1920, page 1832).

Having visited Japan twice, his comments on the political and military situation there were reported in the Evening Post of 17 September 1934. He was obviously still taking an interest in military aviation.

My father, James Macilree, served as a pilot in the RNZAF in the Second World War and I have maintained the family connection with aviation.

19 April 2011

Saudi Arabia initials "open skies" agreement with the United States

On 18 April 2011 the United States Department of State announced that it had initialled an "open skies" agreement with Saudi Arabia.

16 April 2011

Saudi Arabia to consider allowing cabotage flights?

A Reuters story dated 5 April 2011 reports that the Shoura (Shura) Council, the advisory assembly of the government in Saudi Arabia, has recommended consideration be given to grant some airlines from other Gulf states the right to operate domestic flights within Saudi Arabia. The report notes price caps on domestic air fares, and fuel subsidies and privatisation of Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia).

Australia negotiates air services agreement with Oman

The Oman Tribune reports that a Memorandum of Understanding with a draft air services agreement between Oman and Australia came into effect on 6 April 2011.

A notable feature is that, in line with new Australian policy (see previous post), there is no capacity restriction on capacity outside of the two main Australian cities. In practice this means Cairns and Darwin (see official list of Australia's international airports).

10 April 2011

Four additional airlines operating to New Zealand

In just the last four months four international airlines commenced operations to New Zealand and one started code sharing here. Well actually the story is a little more complicated than that.

China Airlines (CI) from Taiwan recommenced services after a decade. Its operation to Auckland (AKL) from Taipei (TPE) via Brisbane (BNE) started on 1 January 2011 (see previous post).

Jetstar Asia Airways (3K) from Singapore (SIN) started operating to AKL on 18 March 2011 in direct competition with Singapore Airlines (SQ) (see previous post). This is only the third long-haul route to New Zealand to have such direct competition on the same sector - the others are AKL-LAX (NZ and QF) and AKL-HKG (NZ and CX). Jetstar Asia is actually wet-leasing VH registered aircraft from Qantas subsidiary Jetstar (JQ) in Australia. However, Jetstar had to obtain a Foreign Air Operator Certificate from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority because the operation does not qualify to be covered by the mutual recognition of safety certification regime between Australia and New Zealand (see previous post). The new service is being provided under the MALIAT.

AirAsia X (D7) commenced operating to Christchurch (CHC) from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) on 1 April 2011 (see previous post). The airline is to be commended for persisting with the launch date despite the devastating Christchurch earthquakes.

China Southern Airlines (CZ) commenced operating from Guangzhou (CAN) to AKL on 9 April 2011 (see previous post). This is a major new non-stop addition to the set of long-haul air routes to New Zealand. The inaugural flight was welcomed by the Prime Minister John Key (he is also Minister of Tourism). The new service is being jointly promoted by the airline and Tourism New Zealand.

The excellent MRC Aviation blog has photographs of the new operations in New Zealand by CI3KD7 and CZ.

Finally, Virgin Atlantic Airways (VS) from the UK commenced code sharing to New Zealand on Air New Zealand (NZ) operations on 27 March 2011 (see Air New Zealand announcement dated 12 January 2011).

The next announced airline to recommence operating to New Zealand should be United Airlines (UA) in 2012 after it takes delivery of the B787 (see previous post). United already code shares to New Zealand.

I maintain a list of international airlines that serve (and those that have served) New Zealand on my homepages.