AOB – January 2016

January 31 2016

There is a long post on my travels in Thailand during the last week. Do have a read.

January 19 2016

Watford have signed winger Nordin Amrabat on a three-and-a-half-year contract from Malaga.

The 28-year-old Morocco international joins Quique Sanchez Flores’ squad after Monday’s Premier League dismal defeat at Swansea.

“He has the qualities of the players we like,” Sanchez Flores said of the player earlier this week.

Have Watford just signed a replacement for Ighalo? After four successive league defeats we badly need a change in fortune before we slide towards relegation.

January 17 2016

This is unedited from a current post in PPRUNE:

1. Resignations now averaging more than one a day. Very large numbers of experienced pilots leaving. (“retiring” if above 50 apparently, so they’re not counted in the official stats)
2. Pilots flying 98-105 hour rosters; fatigue a clear and present danger.
3. Managers flying up to 90 hour rosters due pilot shortage…hardly anybody in the office and seriously reduced management oversight of the entire operation.
4. CRMI trainers told they won’t be doing courses for a while as they’re needed on the line.
5. Numerous people called off their manual handling sims to operational duties due shortage of crews.; reduced training
6. Discussions continue about trying to postpone all manual handling sims due shortage of crew (wonder how they’re going to present that to STC, as that is his little baby); reduced training
7. Some pretty average performers moving to the left seat. Sorry to say, I’m not seeing a lot to give me confidence with some guys I’ve observed.
8. Reduced experience in the right seat.
9. New GSFIs with no airline or big jet time, teaching new FOs with limited airline time and no jet time; reduced quality of training?
10. Freighter operation with constant and serious mistakes in loading. Every week another ASR about serious load errors; high risk operation.
11. Engineers, cabin crew, and pretty much every part of this operation stretched to, if not already past breaking point; fatigue, high risk of mistakes
12. And finally, statistics….heavily weighed against EK now.

Anybody recognise this picture?

Why post it – because after nine years in Dubai so close to Emirates I do care about this airline and its people. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the above is accurate; even under-stated.

There is a growing worldwide shortage of pilots; and even bigger shortage of good, experienced, team-leading pilots. EK needs to recruit and more importantly retain the best.

January 15 2016

A few EK updates:

Emirates will upgauge the EK424/EK425 Dubai – Perth service from Boeing 777-300ER to A380 operation from 1st August 2016. This will give Perth double daily A380 service

Emirates has announced a new Dubai – Tunis – Malta – Dubai triangular A340-300 service to commence on 1st March 2016. The schedule is as follows: EK749 Dubai 0825 – 1245 Tunis 1415 – 1525 Malta 1645 – 0050+1 Dubai.

Emirates postponed flights on the new Dubai – Panama City Boeing 777-200LR route, scheduled to commence on 1st February 2016, until 30th March 2016. The route is now scheduled to commence on 31st March 2016.

Emirates announced that the existing EK107/EK108 Dubai – Larnaca – Malta A330-200 rotation will be amended to a new Dubai – Larnaca – Athens Three Class Boeing 777-300ER rotation from March 1st 2016. The new schedule is as follows: EK107 Dubai 0750 – 1020 Larnaca 1150 – 1335 Athens; EK108 Athens 1615 – 1800 Larnaca 1930 – 0125+1 Dubai.

Emirates has announced a second daily Dubai – Geneva Boeing 777-300ER servive to commence on 1st June 2016. Schedules are as follows: EK83 Dubai 1455 – Geneva 1950; EK84 Geneva 2145 – Dubai 0605+1.

Emirates has announced that it will recommence a second daily Dubai – Los Angeles rotation from 1st July 2016. The EK217/EK218 rotation last operated in August 2012 and will return as an A380 service

Emirates has announced that the EK231/EK232 Dubai – Washington rotation will switch from Boeing 777-300ER to A380 operation from 1st February 2016

January 8 2016

On my way to Hong Kong – first trip of the year. Far too short a time in HKG – about 18 hours.

January 7 2016

A day out to Hatta. There are so many new roads in the UAE that I do not know.

I was helping a friends with a visa run across the Oman border and back into the UAE. The process is relatively straightforward though it does appear to change without notice.

The folks in the Oman immigration office are charming. Very impressed.