AOB – September 2016

30 September 2016

Tai and I are in Japan. Updates may be limited for a couple of weeks. I am traveling without my laptop for the first time…resorting to one-fingered typing on an iPad mini!

26 September 2016

Tired. Flew to Birmingham on Thursday and drove down to Devon that evening. Three nights in Devon – left early Sunday morning – back to BHX for a quiet flight down to Dubai.

“Emirates in today’s inventory update (22SEP16) has cancelled planned 4th daily Dubai – London Gatwick service, scheduled to commence on 01OCT16. The airline previously planned to operate Boeing 777-300ER aircraft as EK23/24, however reservation is no longer available, including flights on/after 25MAR17”

Source: RoutesOnline.

Emirates is still taking deliveries of 380s and 777s but is cutting capacity on some routes and not adding new routes. It is all a bit of a change from the years of gung-ho growth.

22 September 2016

Thai Airways have just a single A350. Newly acquired it is still being flown domestically for crew familiarisation.

Clearly they have some way to go as they nearly pranged the airplane at Phuket today: Thai Airways Airbus A350 runway excursion at Phuket

Phuket’s ILS approach is non-standard – it is offset by 1.4 degrees and does not provide the same degree of accuracy to touch down as a normal ILS. There is a noticeable downslope on runway 27 and the surface would have been wet. Required visibility is 2200/2300m CatC/D – the METAR in the report states a visibility of 2000m.

Sounds a little similar to the Orient Thai MD82 crash some years ago which tried to land in similarly difficult weather.

Thai’s new toy will be in the repair shop for a while.

19 September 2016

Watford beat Manchester United today – our first win over MU since 16 September 1986.

3-1. And deserved.

16 September 2016

Whither Thailand:

As Commander William Adama said in the cult sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica:

“There’s a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.”

That is the answer.

12 September 2016

The last advice that Emirates gave to its cabin cew in respect of the Zika virus was back in February 2016.

There have now been Zika infections in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

Effective 6 September the WHO has updated its advice on the preventing the transmission of Zika through sexual intercourse as follows:

(This is the section revelevant to the UAE and other countries whee there is no known ZIKA virus transmission)

“In regions with NO active Zika virus transmission, health programmes should ensure that:
a. Men and women returning from areas where transmission of Zika virus is known to occur should adopt safer sex practices or consider abstinence for at least 6 months upon return to prevent Zika virus infection through sexual
b. Couples or women planning a pregnancy, who are returning from areas where transmission of Zika virus is known to occur, are advised to wait at least
6 months before trying to conceive to ensure that possible Zika virus infection has cleared.
c. Sexual partners of pregnant women, returning from areas where transmission of Zika virus is known to occur, should be advised to practice safer sex or abstain from sexual activity for at least the whole duration of the pregnancy.”

Given the number of flights that EK has to these newly infected areas I am surprised that their is no new guidance to the crew and apparently little concern.

11 September 2016

It is the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the USA. I have written plenty elsewhere so this is just a reminder that extremism is temporary; that love, trust, goodwill, decency will always win.

Churlish to talk about it today but Hillary Clinton’s health may become a real issue in the last eight weeks of the US election campaign.

And what happens if she has to pull out – are the Democrats allowed a replacement candidate; can the election date be postponed. I have no idea.

Note to self – most people do not like being told on twitter that they are wrong – probably because facts can spoil their own preconceptions or agenda.

7 September 2016

Coming from Routledge publishres in January 2017 – The United Arab Emirates, Power, Politics and Policy-Making by Kristian Coates Ulrichsen

The publishers say that the book will offer a full and frank assessment of the UAE in historical perspective, political and security orientation, and economic globalization. The publicity adds that: “This book will strike a balance between narrative and analysis in order to critically analyse both the factors that have propelled the UAE to regional and international prominence, as well as the seamier underside of that growth, and will be an essential resource for students and policy-makers with an interest in the politics of the Persian Gulf.”

The seamier underside should be fun. But may also mean that the book is not available in the UAE.

6 September

The GCAA’s preliminary report into the crash of EK521 was published today.

Worth just saying again what an outstanding job the cabin crew did that day. They should not be anonymous (unless they individually wish to be); they performed as a team, heroically, and should be given a very public commendation for their bravery that day.

1 September

News from Thailand:

Prachatai reports that สุทิดา วชิราลงกรณ์ ณ อยุธยา or Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayudhya has been promoted by her spouse, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, to Lieutenant General in the royal guards.

Essentially, this is the second highest rank in the military. Royals all get such ranks as kinds of honorifics and to wed the military and monarchy.

The promotion of his newest spouse moves Suthida further into the royal family.

Many congratulations to her. Now I wonder if she spare any thought for the fate of her predecessor?

Meanwhile in Dubai our new opera house opened last night with Spanish tenor Placido Domingo as the opening act.