Episode 180: A380s, Qantas, Emirates and more

Strewth, it’s the first Australia Desk of 2012 and the boys are off the beach, back in the office and bringing you more aviation news from Down Under.

Qantas receives their 12th A380 and it’s been named Phyllis Arnott in honour of the first lady to get a commercial pilots’ license. Like the rest of Qantas’ A380s, it’s going to be on the Hong Kong route through to London.

Meanwhile, the boys are going to be seeing more A380s as Emirates will be joining Qantas and Singapore Airlines with A380 flights to Melbourne. They’re looking forward to it as, unlike some others, Grant doesn’t think they’re “fugly” while Steve’s fascinated by the engineering involved in getting them into the air.

It’s not all good news for A380s though as fatigue cracks are appearing in some A380s around the world, including one Qantas aircraft, in the wing skin join area. It seems a bit early in their fatigue life so there’s plenty to be concerned about.

About 150 Qantas pilots have taken unpaid leave and are now working for Gulf based airlines as they’re not able to get sufficient flight hours as so many flights, even international ones, are being moved to Jetstar. And speaking of Jetstar, they’re going to be adding 28,000 seats to their international tourism routes such as Hawaii, Bali and Thailand thanks to the A330s that were moved from Qantas to Jetstar.

Finally, there has been a very tragic hot air balloon crash in New Zealand that has killed 11 people after colliding with power lines. A very sad start to 2012’s aviation news from New Zealand.

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