Welcome to the French Riviera

Nice Côte d’Azur Airport (LFMN) is now available for X-Plane 10.

LFMN is the main hub for the French Riviera and is the third busiest airport in France. It is a focus city for Air France and serves as an operating base for easyJet. In 2015 the airport handled more than 12 million passengers.

The package from x-plane.org features shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on terminal and other airport buildings, high resolution photo scenery near airport and city along with custom runway textures.

All objects are manually placed and special effects include runway reflections, custom apron lights and animated custom ground vehicles. It is also X-Life traffic compatible.

Click here for more information on x-plane-org


Boeing Sends Team to Dubai

Boeing has dispatched a technical team to provide assistance to officials investigating Wednesday’s incident involving Emirates flight EK521 in Dubai.

Boeing 777-31H, A6-EMW (c/n 32700) was flying from Thiruvananthapuram in India to Dubai International Airport when it suffered what the airline has called an “operational incident upon landing”.

A video posted online shows the jet skidding down the runway on its belly and the right engine detached from the wing. Additional photos showed black smoke billowing from the jet and firefighters tackling the blaze.

All 282 passengers and 18 crew escaped the incident but an airport firefighter died tackling the blaze. Emirates confirmed that 157 passengers left the flight in Dubai as planned, 107 opted to continue their journeys while 13 others decided to remain in Dubai for a few days before continuing their travels.  Five passengers were hospitalised with minor injuries and the airline has provided a dedicated staff liaison to support them.  One crew member was also taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Dubai International Airport was shut for around six hours while officials dealt with the incident, resulting in a number of flights being cancelled. Runway 12L/30R, where the incident took place, reopened on Thursday.

The United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is leading the investigation.

No Fatalities in Emirates 777 Incident

All 282 passengers and 18 crew members survived a landing incident involving Emirates Boeing 777-31H, A6-EMW (c/n 32700) at Dubai International Airport, that saw the jet engulfed in flames.

A video posted online shows the jet skidding down the runway on its belly and the right engine detached from the wing.  Additional photos showed black smoke billowing from the jet and firefighters tackling the blaze.  The fire has now been put out.

The aircraft was operating flight EK521 from Thiruvananthapuram in India to Dubai.

“The Boeing 777 aircraft, departed at 10.19am from Trivandrum International Airport and was scheduled to land at 12.50pm at Dubai International Airport.  We can confirm that there are no fatalities among our passengers and crew,” the airline said in a statement.

Manufacturer Boeing said it was monitoring the situation.  It added: “We are thankful all aboard were evacuated safely. A Boeing technical team is standing by to launch in support of the US National Transportation Safety Board.”

The majority of the passengers on board were from India, with 11 from the UK.

As a result of the incident, Dubai International Airport is experiencing severe delays.  Emirates said it was anticipating an eight-hour network wide delay and has cancelled a number of flights as a result.

Emirates 777 On Fire at Dubai

An Emirates Boeing 777-31H, A6-EMW (c/n 32700), has caught fire after a landing incident at Dubai International Airport.

A video posted online shows the jet skidding down the runway on its belly and the right engine detached from the wing.  Additional photos show black smoke billowing from the jet and firefighters on scene tackling the blaze.

The aircraft was operating flight EK521 from Thiruvananthapuram in India to Dubai and was carrying 282 passengers and 18 crew.  The Dubai Media Office tweeted that “all passengers were evacuated safely and no injuries have been reported so far”.

A statement on the airline’s Twitter feed said: “Emirates can confirm that an incident happened at Dubai International Airport on 3rd August 2016 at about 12.45pm local time.”

Dubai International Airport remains closed while authorities deal with the incident.

Cebu Pacific Adds More A330s

Airbus has won a firm order from Cebu Pacific for two A330-300s. The Manila-based carrier currently operates a fleet of six A330s on long haul flights to the Middle East and Australia, as well as on domestic and regional routes.

“The A330 has proven to be the right choice for our long haul low fare product,” said Lance Gokongwei, Cebu Pacific President and Chief Executive Officer. “The newly ordered aircraft will enable us to add more long haul routes, including the launch of our first flights to the US.  We are excited to be expanding our widebody fleet, offering more low fare options for our customers to fly further than ever before.”

John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, added: “This order from Cebu Pacific is another endorsement of the unrivalled efficiency of the A330 for profitable long haul low-cost services. Combining low operating costs, proven reliability and a great passenger experience, the A330 is the clear preferred choice of airlines in this competitive market segment.  We are looking forward to working with Cebu Pacific as it grows its long haul services and flies to more destinations across the world.”

Flybe Expands at Hannover

British regional carrier Flybe launched its first intra-European routes from Hannover Airport on August 1.

Flybe is flying daily from the German airport to Lyon-Saint-Exupéry in France and Milan/Malpensa in Italy.

The Lyon service departs Hannover at 1045hrs, arriving in France at 1250hrs. The return flight departs at 1325hrs arriving back at Hannover at 1535hrs.

Flights to Milan depart at 1610hrs arriving in Italy at 1810. Services in the opposite direction leave the Italian city at 1850hrs and arrive in Germany at 2055hrs.

Vincent Hodder, Flybe’s Chief Revenue Officer commented: “This is a proud milestone for Flybe and we are delighted to be here today. Flybe’s debut into this new marketplace marks the beginning of our ambition to provide mainland Europeans with the same high level of regional connectivity and choice of high frequency time-saving travel as we currently provides throughout the UK.”

Hannover Airport CEO Raoul Hille added: “The decision of Flybe to expand its offerings at Hannover Airport for us is a great signal to the market.  Flybe has already been a reliable and successfully growing partner at Hannover Airport.”

Flybe also flies to Hannover from Manchester and Birmingham.

Green Light for London City Expansion

Government approval has been granted for London City Airport’s £344m transformation project.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, confirmed that planning permission had been granted for the City Airport Development Programme (CADP), which includes the construction of seven new aircraft stands, a parallel taxiway and an extension to the passenger terminal. London City Airport welcomed a record-breaking 4.3 million passengers last year and says the transformation will enable 6.5 million people to use the airport by 2025.

The planning decision was formally approved by the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid.

A statement on the airport’s website said the expansion also “opens up the possibility of more destination choice, with quieter, more fuel efficient, ‘next generation’ aircraft unlocking the opportunity to fly greater distances to destinations in the Gulf and Middle East, Turkey, Russia and the east coast of the United States”. Bombardier recently confirmed that its new CS100 airliner could fly 2,350nm from the Docklands airport, enabling the aircraft to fly non-stop to Moscow or Cairo.

London City Airport estimates that the expansion will create 1,600 airport jobs together with 500 construction jobs. The CADP could potentially contribute £1.5 billion to the UK economy by 2025.

As part of the project, the airport will invest £2.6m in additional rolling stock for the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) as well as funding improvements to the roads, paths and cycle routes leading to the site.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond said: “London City Airport’s ambitious growth plans will boost international connections, strengthening the City of London’s links to destinations across the world, and send a clear signal that Britain is open for business. Making it easier to visit and do business in the City of London will help drive forward our economy and further strengthen the city’s status as the world’s leading financial centre.  This is a real vote of confidence in the resilience of our economy, creating over a thousand new jobs.”

The government says London City Airport will provide a “generous” compensation package to local residents affected by the increase in air traffic.

Allegiant Makes Airbus Order

Las Vegas-based budget carrier Allegiant Travel Company has signed a firm purchase contract for 12 Airbus A320ceos. The deal is the first time Allegiant has purchased new aircraft direct from a manufacturer.

“Allegiant offers travellers convenient, affordable nonstop service enabling them to more easily enjoy their favourite vacation destinations,” said Maury Gallagher, Chairman and CEO of Allegiant Travel Company. “As we continue to transition to an all-Airbus fleet, this purchase will allow us to accelerate that process, reduce complexity in our fleet and provide our passengers with an ever-improving experience.”

The new jets, which will be powered by CFM International’s CFM56 engines, will join Allegiant’s current fleet of 15 A319ceos and 16 A320ceos.

“We love it when we hear the Allegiant team say that ‘Airbus is our future’, because that demonstrates they are hitting their bottom-line goals while also satisfying their passengers, and they know it’s because of the Airbus A320 Family,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer – Customers. “The A320 offers wider and more comfortable 18” seats, wider aisles for faster boarding and more on-board storage space for today’s larger carry-ons.  Low-cost carriers come back to the A320 Family again and again because it offers optimum performance from all perspectives.  When an airline grows its A320 fleet, it’s making a sound investment in its financial future.”

FTX openLC North America Out Now

Orbx has announced that openLC NA has been released and now covers the whole continent.

The FTX openLC North America pack started off with the northern half – Arctic, Alaska and Canada. The updated package covers an area over 24 million square kilometres with FTX Global custom textures and new textures unique to openLC. It replaces the default landclass layer with higher detailed and a better variety of land types.

This in turn creates a more varied and accurate terrain with FSX or P3D. It has been specifically designed to work with both FTX Global Base and FTX Global Vector as part of the total simulator overhaul. With FTX Global and openLC North America you can now begin to explore the vast and beautiful area of North and Central America, Greenland as well as the Caribbean islands and Hawaii. Make sure to check the photoreal volcanoes of Popocatépetl, Iztaccihauatl, Colima, San Cristobal-Casita, Telica & Momotombo as well in your travels.

• Hand crafted landclass for 24 million sq km.
• Thousands of new textures to reduced texture repetition
• Full five seasons support
• New night lighting tech to major cities!
• Made for FTX Global and Vector
• Accurate cities, towns, villages
• Six photoreal volcanoes in Mexico and Nicaragua

Customers that have already purchased openLC Alaska/Canada can qualify for an automatic $22.50AUD discount off the full price of openLC North America. This offer is strictly limited for 30 days so don’t delay. This discount will automatically be applied when checking out.

Click here for more information on the Orbx website

MAX Order from Malaysia

Malaysia Airlines has been revealed as the customer for a previously unidentified order for 25 Boeing 737 MAX 8s. The deal is valued a $2.75bn at current list prices and also includes 25 purchase rights for MAX 8 and MAX 9 airframes.

“This deal is a game-changer for Malaysia Airlines with much lower costs and greater efficiency which we will pass on to our loyal customers with lower fares,” said Malaysia Airlines Chief Executive Officer Peter Bellew. “With the 737 MAX’s longer range capabilities we will be able to connect our passengers to more destinations, in greater comfort and with superior economics.”

The Kuala Lumpur-based carrier has operated almost every variant of the 737 family, taking delivery of its 100th example in December 2014. It currently operates 56 737-800s.

“Malaysia Airlines is now on a path to growth across the Asean region,” added Bellew. “This new aircraft order will set the stage for our continued recovery and success into the next decade.”