Discrimination in the skies? UK’s Air Passenger Duty explained

Every passenger departing the UK has to pay a fee. It varies depending where you are flying to, and where you are sitting on the plane. APD – Air Passenger Duty – is divided into four categories or bands based on the distance between London, and the final destination. Watch the video about this « banding system » hereafter:

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RAFALE, GRIPEN, TYPHOON for Swiss AF – Purchase postponed!

Dassault RAFALE fighter aircraft aerobatics
RAFALE - Photo © Xavier Cotton - http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

08/26/2010 Article adapted from AVIANEWS

As far as the Swiss Air Force is concerned, there has been two options so far – the choice of new fighter aircraft or postponement thereof, the second alternative has been chosen. You will find hereafter the Avianews webmaster’s analysis:

This is the Swiss Federal Council Message:

« However, given the current state of federal finances and priorities taken as a whole, the time of acquisition is postponed to no later than 2015. The Federal Council decided on the proposal of DDPS (Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports) to postpone the replacement of 54 obsolete combat aircraft F-5 Tiger Air Force. The Head of the DDPS, Ueli Maurer held a news conference on the postponement which is expected to last at most until 2015. The Federal Department of Finance and the DDPS together confirm by the end of 2011 the conditions for an acquisition during the second half of the decade.  »

The reasons for non selection:

First, this is an organizational problem from the financial organization of Armée XXI. Remember, the people had voted for the new military organization with a comfortable 70% « yes »! id est a military downsized with a budget of only 4.3 billion Swiss Francs now. However, the parliament has never put forward this budget that painfully reaches 3.6 billion. The Swiss People is reportedly disappointed by such loss of income, and deception as well.

No F-5 replacement:

Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 on apron
Typhoon FGR4 - Photo © Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

Replacing the F-5 is out of the question anymore but to get prepared for the next generation of F/A-18 from 2025. Consequently, there is more urgency to acquire a large number of aircraft as a whole block but split into several ones.

Consequences:

The losers in this case are the Swiss industry and jobs. Indeed, if the cost of a fighter plane is expensive, the returns on partnerships to « Offsets » were significantly higher and would have revitalized both the Swiss manufacturing industry and employment.

Competitors:

The three companies will meet in a few years for a new offer and therefore cannot comment on this « no choice »!

Dassault must be disappointed for they would certainly have won the contract with his Rafale. The version of the Rafale-04T was proposed with more powerful engines, the wiring for the METEOR missile, the new targeting pod Damocles XF and the brand new IDM (Improved Data Modem).

It bodes well for Saab because they now may complete the Swedish version of the Gripen E / F (NG), whose development is not completed yet and find a buyer with the Swedish Air Force (SwAF). Indeed, it must order the Gripen E / F by 2015.

EADS Eurofighter will be able to finalize its AESA E-scan radar and they are likely to reduce maintenance costs of the aircraft as promised this summer to the Switzerland Economy Minister Doris Leuthard at the ILA Berlin Airshow.

… To be continued …

Photos © Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

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A380 vs B-787 competition at Farnborough International Airshow

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Major Airbus sale

Emirates Airbus A380 - Photo: Gaurang Patkar

Emirates placed an order with Airbus for an amount estimated at eleven and a half billion dollars yesterday. The purchase of 32 A380 was signed at the Berlin Air Show.

« Emirates supported the development of the A380 from the earliest days, a project employing tens of thousands of Europe’s best people and today’s increased order, is the best endorsement I can imagine. On behalf of all of us at Airbus, we thank Emirates for their support. The A380 is indeed a remarkable eco-efficient aircraft, a profit generator for airlines and a great flying experience for passengers, » said Tom Enders, Airbus’s CEO.

Emirates – already the 2nd largest airline in the world – is to receive its 10th A380 on June 7, 2010 from the Airbus plant in Hamburg. Photo :  G Patkar , wikimedia.org

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Is there anybody in there?

Passenger jet skips final destination for lack of air traffic controller, lands in Berlin

22:26 09/03/2010 A passenger jet with some 150 people on board was unable to land at its destination in Leipzig because of the absence of air traffic controllers in the tower, the German Frankfurter Rundshau reported on Tuesday.>>

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