Azul A320neo Suffers Engine Troubles Departing Rio De Janeiro

An Azul Airbus departing Rio de Janeiro’s Santos Dumont Airport on Monday experienced a bird strike incident. The…

Azul A320neo Suffers Engine Troubles Departing Rio De Janeiro

An Azul Airbus departing Rio de Janeiro’s Santos Dumont Airport on Monday experienced a bird strike incident. The birds damaged the plane’s left engine. The incident forced the pilots to declare an emergency and land at a nearby airport.

An Azul A320-200neo diverted on Monday after a bird strike incident. Photo: Airbus

Azul bird strike incident causes engine compressor stalls

According to a report in The Aviation Herald, An Azul Linhas Aereas Airbus A320-200N was departing Rio de Janeiro and heading to Brasilia. The report identified the aircraft as PR-YRY. That aircraft is leased and has been with Azul since January 2019. Azul regulars may know the plane better by its name Azul Avante!

The Airbus A320neo was operating flight AD4800. That flight is the scheduled 06:30 departure from Santos Dumont Airport. Normally, it takes just under two hours to fly across to Brasilia.

On Monday, the flight was on its initial climb out of Rio de Janeiro when the pilots declared an emergency. According to The Aviation Herald, the bird strike incident caused compressor stalls of the aircraft’s left-hand engine.

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Source: RadarBox.com

Azul A320neo circles over Rio de Janerio before diverting to an alternative airport

The climb stopped at 7,000 feet. The Airbus diverted to Rio de Janeiro’s Galeao International Airport and landed safely. According to flight tracking software, the flight headed out over Guanabara Bay before tracking east out over Engenho do Rocado. The flight then turned northwest in a sweeping turn over Engenho Novo before tracking back over the bay north of Paqueta Island.

Over Parada Angelica, the plane turned onto a westerly tracking and entered into a series of circles over Pedra Lisa. Coming out of the circles, the aircraft headed southeast over Duque de Caxias on a tracking into Rio de Janeiro’s Galeao International Airport.

Watching the climb, the Airbus leveled off at just under 5,000 feet just minutes into the flight. For approximately five minutes, the plane maintained that altitude before climbing to 7,000 feet. At this point, the aircraft leveled off, maintaining that altitude while it overflew the bay and circled above Rio de Janeiro’s suburbs. On its run into Galeao International Airport, the Airbus lost altitude fairly quickly before coming into land safely. The plane spent just under 40 minutes in the air.

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Azul Airlines operates a fleet of 42 Airbus A320-200neos. Photo: Airbus

Several incidents involving Azul’s A320-200neos this year

Monday’s incident is the first recorded incident regarding PR-YRY. Azul has a fleet of 42 Airbus A320-200neos, the majority of which are in the air. The São Paulo-based airline has had a steady stream of incidents this year concerning its A320-200neos.

Those incidents include an in-flight engine shutdown in early January on an A320-200neo flight from Cruz to Sao Paulo Congonhas. In mid-February, smoke was reported in the aft cabin on an A320-200neo flight from Sao Paulo Viracopos to Savador. Just days later, another A320-200neo reported a drop in oil quantity in an engine and diverted the plane to Salvador.

In early March, a smell akin to burning electrical wires was reported on an Azul A320-200neo flight from Sao Paulo Viracopos to Aracaju. That flight also diverted. One month later, in early April, another Airbus A320-200neo reported engine vibration indications in-flight, prompting a return to Manuas. In late April, another A320-200neo operating an Azul flight from Curitiba to Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont reported a hydraulic failure. That forced the aircraft to divert to Galeao International Airport.

In all incidents, including Monday’s bird strike incident, the flights landed safely without any reported injuries to passengers or crew.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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Air Tahiti Nui’s Dreamliner To Resume Los Angeles Paris Flights

With French Polynesia relaxing some entry restrictions, local airline Air Tahiti Nui has resumed its flagship Dreamliner services…

Air Tahiti Nui’s Dreamliner To Resume Los Angeles Paris Flights

With French Polynesia relaxing some entry restrictions, local airline Air Tahiti Nui has resumed its flagship Dreamliner services between Papeete and Los Angeles. The four times a week services restarted on May 2. While flights through to Paris via Los Angeles have not yet resumed, Air Tahiti Nui is eyeing resuming those services in early June.

Air Tahiti Nui is back to flying four times a week between Papeete and Los Angeles. Photo: Air Tahiti Nui

French Polynesia tentatively re-opens to travelers from the United States

With the country having done a good job combatting COVID-19 and the vaccination rollout well underway, French Polynesia is beginning to roll out the welcome mat for overseas travelers. Tahiti re-opened to flights from the USA on May 1. That prompted Air Tahiti Nui to resume their flights to Los Angeles.

That said, it isn’t open slather. Travelers will need to arrive with a COVID-19 CDC vaccination certificate. Passengers have to upload that certificate to French Polynesian health authorities before traveling to Tahiti. In addition, only residents of French Polynesia and people who have spent at least the last 30 days in the United States before traveling will be allowed to fly.

Throughout May, Air Tahiti Nui’s fleet of Boeing 787-9s will jet back and forth between Papeete and Los Angeles four times a week. Flights will depart Papeete’s Faa’a International Airport at 08:20 local time on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings. The eight-hour flight lands in Los Angeles at 21:30 the same day.

After a two-hour turnaround, Air Tahiti Nui’s Dreamliners push back from LAX at 23:55 local time on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday evenings. After flying through the night, the plane will touch down at 05:05 on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday mornings.

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Air Tahiti Nui Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner approaching Los Angeles Airport. Photo: Vincenzo Pace/Simple Flying

Air Tahiti Nui eyes Paris flights in June

In June, the frequencies increase to daily with some alterations in flight departure and arrival times. The changes coincide with Air Tahiti Nui’s planned resumption of services through to Paris. From June 3, the airline is targeting Paris with six return services a week.

Those flights will depart LAX at 13:30 local time daily except Tuesday. The Air Tahiti Nui Dreamliners will head through the night. The flights will land in Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport at 09:05 the following morning.

After a three-hour refresh, the Dreamliners will depart Paris at 12:05 local time daily except Tuesday and head back to Los Angeles, landing there later that day. Those flights will then continue onto Papeete.

The airline is also scheduling twice-weekly flights between Papeete and Auckland and Papeete and Tokyo Narita later this year.

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Air Tahiti Nui plans to resume flying to Paris in June. Photo: Air Tahiti Nui

Some modifications to the Air Tahiti Nui inflight experience

Of course, all this hangs on the continued success of the vaccination rollout, not just in French Polynesia but elsewhere. The flights are also contingent on the respective governments allowing relatively easy travel.

As with most other airlines, there’s a new normal onboard Air Tahiti Nui flights. For flights to and from the United States, masks remain mandatory onboard for the entire duration of the flights for all passengers above the age of two. For all other Air Tahiti Nui flights, children under 11 are exempt from wearing face masks.

Air Tahiti Nui has also made some changes to its inflight offering. The airline says;

The onboard catering offer has been simplified to limit contact. The aperitif and meal services are combined. Meals are provided in a single passage in all travel classes and concentrated in a single tray service, including desserts for business class. The choice of wines and drinks is also reduced with the same purpose – limiting interactions and serving time.

“For the same purpose, the magazines onboard are removed, excluding the safety sheet, modified for single use only. However, passengers can view a selection of press and magazines, in-flight magazines, and meal service menus on our onboard entertainment system.”

For premium cabin passengers and Air Tahiti Nui’s best customers, lounge access in Papeete and Los Angeles remains off the books.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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