Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Boeing Boss Hearing About Bad Dreams In Europe

Conner, Photo courtesy Boeing
Last year when he was given the job of piloting Boeing's Commercial Airplane division into the next generation of aviation, Ray Conner told reporters he was "really excited" - and why not? The company was selling airplanes like hot cakes matching its dreamy aspirations with real Dreamliner-building capacity at the company's second assembly plant in South Carolina.

Those happy comments at the Farnborough Air Show in 2012 must seem like a distant memory now as Conner maneuvers through the turbulence created by a questionable battery design, assembly lapses and technology glitches. Unhappy customers are issuing error messages about the airplane the company calls "game changing."

Monday, September 23, 2013

LOT Dreamliners Spend the Weekend Grounded

The LOT Polish Dreamliner SP-LRB before it was grounded
Take a good look at this Boeing 787 in flight, then remember, that's not a sure thing with the troubled Dreamliner. In the most recent interruption, the six-month-old LOT Polish 787 tail number SP-LRB seen left and another plane, tail number SP-LRC were grounded for several days when mechanics discovered missing fuel filters on the planes' Rolls Royce engines

A source tells me during testing at Boeing in Everett, Washington, mechanics at the plane maker removed the engine's fuel filters and failed to re install them. The planes were then delivered to the airline and began flying in passenger service - even though running the engines in this condition could lead to engine damage. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Baffling Delay on JFK Airport Hotels

As if we were waiting in the passenger boarding area for news of a delayed flight, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is providing just the merest trickle of information about the airport hotel it has long promised to bring to John F. Kennedy International Airport.
It is astonishing to me that the 19th busiest airport in the world does not have even one hotel on premises. Not the new one promised, not the replacement for the old Ramada at JFK that closed in 2009.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Norwegian Fully Awake To Realize Its Dream

Bjorn Kjos in the cockpit of a Norwegian 737
About a year ago, Nancy Branka, my editor at Executive Travel magazine assigned me to interview Bjorn Kjos, the affable boss of the upstart airline, Norwegian. Give the gal credit, she knew long before the rest of us, that Kjos was the kind of airline executive who makes his dreams come true.