Nov 30, 2008
Air New Zealand, Boeing, Rolls-Royce
Air New Zealand is to operate a demonstration flight from Auckland on 3 December using a Boeing 747-400 with one of its four Rolls-Royce RB211 engines powered in part by fuel that is 50% standard Jet A and 50% synthetic paraffinic kerosene derived from the jatropha plant and refined by Honeywell subsidiary UOP. During processing, hydrogen was added to remove oxygen from the biomass, resulting in a jet fuel that can be used as a petroleum replacement for commercial aviation. Rolls-Royce's technical team tested the fuel for compatibility with jet engine components and to validate the fuel meets performance criteria for use in the aviation industry. Nov 25, 2008
Thai relief flight lands at Narita. The first commercial flight to leave Thailand since antigovernment protesters forced the closure of Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok last week landed at Narita airport near Tokyo on Saturday with about 260 passengers. Welcome home: A Japanese man brought back from Thailand on a relief flight arranged by Thai Airways International responds to reporters' questions at Narita airport Saturday. Nov 30, 2008
Stranded Tourists Strain Old Thai Air Base. With one luggage scanner and a tiny check-in area, a Vietnam War-era naval air base in Thailand struggled on Friday to cope with thousands of tourists left stranded by a political crisis. The government began shuttling travelers by bus to U-Tapao, 150 km (90 miles) east of Bangkok, as an alternative landing site for airlines after protesters forced the closure of the capital's two main airports this week. Nearly 60 flights had left by Friday afternoon, while inbound flights were expected to bring tourists for the peak holiday season, pushing the air base to its limits. People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protesters laid siege to Suvarnabhumi, Thailand's main hub for nearly 15 million visitors a year, and the Don Muang domestic airport this week. The sit-ins have forced hundreds of flight cancellations, stranded thousands of tourists and grounded millions of dollars of air cargo. Built in the 1960s as a major staging area for the US war in Indochina, U-Tapao's single runway can handle aircraft as large as an Airbus A380 superjumbo, Surapong said. But with only four check-in counters, one baggage scanner, and a flight schedule hand-writen on a white bulletin board, service was painfully slow in the cramped...